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177 Unregistered Mosques Face Closure in Kyrgyzstan's Osh Region

A new mosque building in Osh city in Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK -- Nearly one-quarter of the mosques in Kyrgyzstan's southern region of Osh face closure because they are not officially registered, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Kurbanaly Uzakov, the chairman of the government's State Commission on Religious Affairs, told RFE/RL that his commission filed a request with local officials in the Osh region to close 177 local mosques.

Officials with the Osh regional Muslim directorate, or Kazyiat, told RFE/RL that they do not see any threat from the unregistered mosques’ operations, adding that the imams at these mosques have been appointed by local religious leaders.

Kyrgyzstan's southern Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Batken regions traditionally have deep Islamic roots.

The Osh region alone has 722 mosques, including those facing closure.

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