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Thursday, 11 April 2024 13:18

Greece Reopens Historic Mosque for Eid Prayers

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VOInews, Jakarta: Greece on Wednesday (10/4) reopened a historic mosque in northern Thessaloniki for the first time in more than a century, allowing Muslims to perform Eid prayers there.

 

Around 100 people performed Eid prayers at the "Yeni Mosque" or "New Mosque", which witnessed the last gathering of worshippers in the early 1920s, before the war between Greece and Turkey led to a population exchange between the two countries that reduced the number of Muslims in the city.

"We are lucky that this mosque was opened for us," says 66-year-old Ismail Badreddin.

 

"I have lived in Thessaloniki for four years and this is the first time I have had the opportunity to pray with my Muslim family" at the mosque, said Ali, 23, a Turkish economics student. Greek police guarded the historic mosque during the prayers.

 

The Yeni Mosque, built by Italian architect Vitaliano Boselli in 1902, was at the time used by members of the Donmeh community, Jews who pretended to convert to Islam.

 

In 1922, refugees from the Greco-Turkish war were briefly housed in this two-story building, before it was converted into a museum and city gallery.

 

Greece is a predominantly Orthodox Christian country, and Muslim places of worship are mostly concentrated in the Thrace region in the northeast of the country near the Greek-Turkish border, where Muslim minorities have been settled for centuries.

 

In Athens, Muslims have been few in number since the Greco-Turkish war before increasing due to the refugee crisis in 2015.

 

In November 2020, the city's first new mosque officially opened after more than a decade of construction, which had faced strong opposition from the Orthodox Church as well as nationalist groups. (Daniel)

 

Source: AFP

Read 255 times Last modified on Thursday, 11 April 2024 13:31