File photo. Photograph:( PTI )
Amid tightening curbs on religion in the country, Chinese authorities have recently released an order to demolish a grand mosque in the western region of Ningxia.
The Chinese officials issued a notice on August 3 stating that the Weizhou grand mosque, with numerous domes and minarets in a Middle Eastern style, had not received proper permits before construction. The notice which was widely circulated on social media also stated that the mosque would be forcibly demolished on Friday.
Following the announcement, the villagers staged a huge protest against the demolition.
Hundreds of ethnic Hui Muslims staged a sit-in protest in China's western region of Ningxia against government's order.
Responding to the protest the officials decided to spare the mosque on a condition that villagers replace the dome of the mosque with pagodas.
Videos on social media on Thursday showed large crowds gathered outside the mosque and police vans parked nearby
Senior Chinese officials have urged Muslims to guard against creeping Islamisation, such as foreign styles copied on mosques, and strive to practice their faith in a more "Chinese" way.
Well-integrated in society with decades of smooth ties with the government, many Hui have watched with detachment as authorities have subjected the far western region of Xinjiang and its Uighur Muslims to near-martial law, with armed police checkpoints, re-education centres, and mass DNA collection.
The treatment of Uighurs has spurred an international outcry, with US officials saying tens of thousands of people have been detained in Xinjiang's detention centres.
In the crackdown, the government has banned religious education for young people in mosques, ordered that the call to prayer over loudspeakers be silenced, and sought to stamp out what it sees as Arab elements in mosques.
As the current Chinese President Xi Jinping gains ground in the country, the religious believers in the country are experiencing a severe crackdown and suppression of their beliefs.
The crackdown on religions follows as the ruling communist party continues to intensify its control over religious freedom in the country.
The Churches in China are demolished, Bibles and Holy books are confiscated and new laws are established to regulate religious activities in the country.
(With inputs from Reuters)