Chechnya inaugurates 'Europe's largest mosque'

The impressive-looking mosque, decorated with marble, can hold more than 30,000 people.

Sara Rubenstein,

A view of the new Prophet Mohammed mosque in Shali, Russia, during the inauguration.
A view of the new Prophet Mohammed mosque in Shali, Russia, during the inauguration.
REUTERS/Said Tsarnayev

A huge mosque was inaugurated in the Russian region of Chechnya on Friday in an official ceremony. The mosque, named after the prophet Mohammed, is located in Shali, a town near the regional capital of Grozny.

The impressive-looking mosque, decorated with marble, can hold more than 30,000 people. Chechen officials say it is the "largest and most beautiful" mosque in Europe and that the grounds of the mosque, adorned with flowers and fountains, can hold another 70,000 people.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said the mosque is "unique in its design and majestic in its size and beauty."

Kadyrov, an ally of Putin who was appointed by him to rule in Chechnya, has supported a resurgence of Islam in Chechnya. In 2008, he inaugurated the "Heart of Chechnya" mosque in Grozny.




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