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Articles > RMC > Building new places of worship in Moscow: challenges, myths, problems

The Civic Chamber of Russian Federation hosted public hearings devoted to the issue of building new houses of worship in Moscow. It was organized by the Committee for harmonization of interethnic and interfaith relations of the Civic Chamber.

The hearings were attended by chairman of the committee Iosif Diskin, member of the Civic Chamber archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, RMC deputy chairman Rushan hazrat Abbyasov, other members of the Civic Chamber, representatives of the executive branch of Moscow City government and religious and community-based organizations.

The discussion showed great diversity of opinions on the issue of construction of new churches in Moscow, but left no doubt that the topic of spiritual revival can not be ignored.

Speaking before the audience, Rushan hazrat Abbyasov once again reminded that Russia Muftis Council insists on building mosques in each of the 10 administrative okrugs of Moscow in addition to the 200 new Orthodox churches (their overall number to reach 1000).

"For more than fifteen years, we've been asking for places to build new mosques. There are only 4 mosques in Moscow right now. It's also worth reminding that Muslims can build the mosques themselves, they don't need government funding," stressed Rushan hazrat.

He also touched upon the topic of migrant workers, saying that although their arrival was caused by economic reasons, the problem of providing praying facilities for them must be resolved by the host country. Otherwise, he said, the situation will deteriorate into community's spontaneous initiatives lacking any due control.

In these days of consolidation of Russian statehood and the remaining long-term need of workforce fr om neighbouring states, it would probably be reasonable to take a closer look at the experience of European nations who regulated these issues at government level in 19701990s in order to avoid illegality and tax evasion.

Rushan hazrat Abbyasov also voiced the initiative to disallow protest gatherings against construction of new places of worship wh ere 90% of the attendees do not belong to the territory around the designated building site.

The socialization of Muslims that President Putin has recently called for should start in Muslim cultural and religious centres—that's the position of Russia Muftis Council.

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