Amid a crackdown on the religious institutions, Chinese authorities have shut down three mosques in the Yunnan province for imparting “illegal religious education.” The mosque were raided and closed down during prayer time, despite protests from the Muslim community.
Reports and footages by several pro-Muslim media outlets suggest that worshippers were assaulted by the raiding party and some of them had been taken to custody. However, Chinese authorities have denied such claims. “The mosques were illegally established and conducted illegal religious education in violation of China’s Regulation on Religious Affairs,” the official statement said, adding that the decision to raid the three mosques came after the government’s outreach programmes failed to deter such ‘illegal religious activities’.
In recent days, Chinese authorities have closed down several centres of Arabic and Islamic education. Children have been barred from participating in Islamic activities. In August, Chinese authorities were forced to delay the demolition of the newly built Weizhou Grand Mosque in Ningxia autonomous region after hundreds of Muslims turned out to protest.
This comes at a time when there is a general feeling amongst the religious groups in the country that the atheist Communist regime is becoming aggressive against those who adhere to other views.
Islamic crescents and domes have been stripped from mosques, Christian churches have been shut down and Bibles seized, and Tibetan children have been moved from Buddhist temples to schools. All religious institutes are now required to fly the national flag.