Belarus is famous for its tradition of religious tolerance and mutual respect between people of different nationalities, said President of Belarus during the opening of the first mosque in Minsk November 11.
The ceremony was also attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who arrived in the Belarusian capital on an official visit November 11.
The opening of the mosque was a welcome event for religious associations and communities. After all, about 20,000 Muslims live in Belarus alone.
The mosque is one of the largest in Eastern Europe. More than 1,000 people can gather here at the same time.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus is a country with peaceful character, where peace is appreciated at the state level.
This is why churches for all religions are built here without any hostilities.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Any citizen of our country has the right to find their way to his temple, and no one has the right to, and shall not, compel him to do otherwise. Therefore, today we open this great temple, which is not just a home for Muslims, but a huge contribution to the development of the culture of Belarus. I am convinced that the mosque, erected with the personal support of the President of Turkey, my good friend and fellow Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will be an important spiritual center for the Muslims of Belarus and the Belarusian people, a source of education and the dissemination of humanistic ideas and the true purposes of Islam.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey:
Belarus is a country where people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds live together under one roof, in peace and harmony. And we are witnesses of the fact that in Belarus, this palette, this diversity is not perceived as a potential threat; on the contrary, as a beauty, a symbol of wealth and property. Personally on my behalf and on behalf of my people, I thank all those involved in the construction of the mosque and its opening. It, in particular, will become the symbol of friendship between the Belarusian and Turkish peoples.
The heads of state got acquainted with the inner and outer parts of the mosque and left records in the book of honorable guests.
Then the President of Turkey made a prayer. This is the so-called Friday prayer that the Koran obliges Muslims to make.