Xinjiang has 24,800 venues for various religions: white paper

Updated: 2016-06-02 13:10


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BEIJING - There are 24,800 venues for religious activities in China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, with 29,300 clerical personnel, a government document revealed on Thursday.

Among them, there are about 24,400 mosques housing 29,000 clerical personnel, according to a white paper titled Freedom of Religious Belief in Xinjiang, published by the State Council Information Office.

The venues also include 59 Buddhist temples, 227 Protestant churches or meeting grounds, and 26 Catholic churches or meeting grounds. One Taoist temple and three Orthodox churches or meeting grounds are also in operation in the region, the white paper said.

Xinjiang also has eight religious colleges, including the Xinjiang Islamic Institute and Xinjiang Islamic School, it said.

"The Xinjiang government attaches equal importance to administration and services. While legally administrating religious affairs, it endeavors to satisfy believers' normal religious requirements," it read.

The training of clerical personnel has been strengthened, said the document, mentioning that the State Administration for Religious Affairs has facilitated the training of more than 500 clerical personnel on Islamic scripture interpretation for Xinjiang since 2001.

Channels for believers to gain religious knowledge have been expanded. Religious classics and books have been translated and published, including the Koran and Selections from Al-Sahih Muhammad Ibn-Ismail al-Bukhari, in the Uygur, Han Chinese, Kazak and Kirgiz languages.

From 2014 to 2015, Xinjiang has distributed 43 Islamic publications in different languages of minority ethnic groups, totaling over one million copies, the white paper said.

Religious classics on Buddhism and Christianity are also published and distributed.

Besides, the Xinjiang Islamic Association publishes the magazine Xinjiang Muslims in the Uygur, Han Chinese and Kazak languages, providing free copies to mosques and clerical personnel. It has also opened the "Xinjiang Muslims" website in the Uygur and Han Chinese languages.

Religious organizations also hold training classes on religious knowledge and etiquette for believers, according to the white paper.