Religion

Politics • Asian • China
Report: China pays money for reports on underground churches
Excerpt "Notice on Rewarding Those Who Report Clues on Xie Jiao Illegal and Criminal Activities"
Excerpt "Notice on Rewarding Those Who Report Clues on Xie Jiao Illegal and Criminal Activities" Credit: Bitter Winter

According to the magazine Bitter Winter the Chinese government offers monetary rewards for reports of underground churches. The program awards people with up to around $14,000 if they report religious activities of groups banned by the Chinese Communist Party in private homes to the authorities.

In addition to these measures the Chinese government has started putting banners with anti-religious slogans up such as: "Don’t believe in any religion other than the Communist Party. It’s enough to believe in the Party and the People’s Government of China"

The

Politics • European • Germany
Germany: Baden-Württemberg bans burqas, niqabs in schools
Germany: Baden-Württemberg bans burqas, niqabs in schools
Credit: Flood G. (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

State Premier Winfried Kretschmann announced Baden-Württemberg will now ban full-face coverings for all school children. Kretschmann said burqas and niqabs did not belong in a free society.

Politics • Middle Eastern
Erdogan signs decree converting Istanbul's Hagia Sophia into mosque
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia Credit: Igor Vita (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Turkey's top administrative court, the Council of State, ruled Friday that Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia could be converted into a mosque. After the decision President Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree handing control of Hagia Sophia to the country’s religious directorate and to reopen it for worship.

Hagia Sophia was the Byzantine Empire’s main cathedral until it was changed into a mosque following the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic, then turned the domed building into a museum that attracts millions of tourists each year.

Health
Egypt: Mosque reopening plans announced
Man praying in Mosque
Man praying in Mosque Credit: unsplash.com/afig fatah

Plans were discussed to reopen mosques in Egypt by a parliamentary committee. Mosques need to follow a list of rules, incl. closing toilets, mandatory face masks and restricting entry for children. Mosques were closed in March and can reopen as soon as the Ministry of Health gives the green light to do so.

Lifestyle • Religion
Muslim community thanks IKEA for letting them pray in car park to keep physical distancing
Muslims praying in IKEA car park
Muslims praying in IKEA car park Credit: IGMG Wetzlar FATİH CAMİİ via Facebook

The Ikea store in Wetzlar near the German city of Frankfurt had agreed to let the local mosque use the car park for their prayers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic distancing measures were required and in a Facebook post, the Muslim community IGMG Wetzlar FATİH CAMİİ thanked the local police and the store for their help in making the prayers possible.