Religion must obey Chinese law, paper says of mosque protest
Source: Associated Press
BY SAM McNEIL and YANAN WANG
WEIZHOU, China (AP) — A newspaper of the ruling Communist Party said Saturday that no religion is above the law in China, urging officials to stay firm while dealing with a rare protest over the planned demolition of a massive mosque in the northwest.
The Global Times said that local officials in the town of Weizhou in Ningxia, a region that’s home to many ethnic minority Hui Muslims, must act against what it described as an illegal expansion of a religious building.
Thousands of Hui people gathered at the towering Grand Mosque on Thursday and Friday to prevent authorities from demolishing the structure, residents contacted by The Associated Press said. It was a rare, public pushback to the party’s efforts to rewrite how religions are practiced in the country.
“People are in a lot of pain,” said Ma Sengming, a 72-year-old man who was at the protest from Thursday morning until Friday afternoon. “Many people were crying. We can’t understand why this is happening.”