A new Mosque situated near an Orthodox Church is now officially open in Crimea. THe local people that having a Mosque and a Church side-by-side will strengthen interfaith and interethnic peace and understanding in the region.
It took about a year to erect a mosque in Okhotnikovo (originally named Cağa Quşçu) in the Saqi district of Crimea. AUASO “Alraid” was the main facilitator, supported by the Mejlis of Saqi district and local Muslim community and sponsored by the “Bayt-az-Zakat of Kuwait”.
The opening ceremony became a high-profile incident in the peninsula, as this was the first time in several ages when a Mosque and a Church were built on the same land. Head of Crimean Tatar Mejlis Mr. Refat Chubarov, Deputy Head of the Council of Ministers of Crimea Mr. Aziz Abdullaev, Head of AUASO “Alraid” Crimean Office Mr. Ali Muhammad Taha and Head of the AUASO “Alraid” Revisional Commitee Mr. Seiran Arifov along with the representatives of the local authorities were the special guests of the event.
The Mufti of Crimea Mr. Amirali Ablaev in his speech congratulated the local community upon this occasion and reminded them that the mosque is a special place to unite all the Muslims.
Mr. Refat Chubarov stressed how important it is that the mosque and the church are on the same land: “On behalf of Crimean Tatar Mejlis I want to thank AUASO “Alraid” and everyone who took part in building this House of God in the village. Allah Almighty made us different in languages we speak as well as religions and traditions we practice, but at the same time He prescribed us living in friendship, peace and cohesion.”
Mr. Aziz Abdullaev thanked AUASO “Alraid” for facilitating in building the mosque and strengthening interethnic and interfaith cohesion on the peninsula.
On the part of “Alraid”, Mr. Seiran Arifov noted that Crimean Christians and Muslims lived side-by-side for centuries. “It’s very important today that we call for good neighbourhood and mutual help regardless ethnicity and religion. We call upon everyone to be tolerant and hope that building churches and mosques side-by-side becomes a good tradition in Crimea.”
Mr. Alexander Ovdienko, Head of the Saqi District State Administration presented “Alraid” with a Certificate of Merit.
It’s been a long time since local villagers have been awaiting for their own mosque. They had to go to other villages to find a nearest mosque.
“It’s been 25 years since I’m living in this village, and I know how difficult it is to go to the neighbouring Orlovka village mosque every Friday”, - 77-year old Ms. Alime Kurtametova says. - “I have four children, and we all are glad to have such a beautiful mosque. We thank God Almighty for sending us sponsors to cover the building expenses.”
A first Friday prayer was held at the new Mosque the very same day.