Russian republic of Chechnya opens what it says is the largest mosque in Europe

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya on Friday opened what they said was Europe’s largest mosque, at a grand ceremony attended by local and foreign officials.

The mosque, dubbed the Prophet Muhammad, is decorated with marble for more than 30,000 worshipers and has been described by Chechen authorities as “the largest and most beautiful” mosque in Europe.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin said the mosque, built in the town of Shali, a town of 54,000 people on the outskirts of the capital Grozny, was “unique in its design and size.”

The authorities planted the gardens of the mosque with flowers and scattered fountains. Authorities said the gardens could accommodate another 70,000 worshipers.

Kadyrov, who was appointed by Putin to rule the Muslim-majority Chechnya, revived Islam in the republic, including building a large number of mosques.

In 2008, the Chechen heart mosque, which can hold 10,000 worshipers in Grozny, ravaged by two wars between Moscow and separatists after the fall of the former Soviet Union in 1991, was unveiled.

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