Athens’ first mosque in nearly 200 years opens for Friday prayers


ATHENS (Reuters) – After years of delays caused by red tape, cutbacks and opposition from religious and political factions, the first government-funded mosque in Athens since 1833 opened its doors to worshippers on Friday.

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims from countries including Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan and Bangladesh live in Athens but the city has not had a formal mosque since it forced occupying Ottomans to leave nearly 200 years ago.

Plans to build a mosque in Athens began in 1890 but it took decades for them to materialise due to opposition from a predominantly Christian Orthodox population and nationalists, sluggish bureaucracy but most recently a decade-long financial crisis.

source



Categories: Europe, European Muslims, Islam

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