Tuesday 23 June 2020

Islam in Moldova

Islam in Moldova is a tale of surviving and fighting for rights as Muslims in a predominant Orthodox Christians' dominance. As per a UN Human Rights Commission report, Moldovan Muslims faced challenges in gathering together in public spaces for prayer before 2011. If they did, they were met with opposition by police. The fact was the freedom to pray in public spaces was not given to unregistered religious entities.

Although, the Moldovan Parliament passed a  new law of freedom of thought and  conscience that was  more progressive than  previous ones in 2007, the Orthodox Church was resisted all moves by the Muslims to registered as registered religious community. This was despite the fact that the new law  provided  freedom of religious practice in any form, which allowed for anyone to create a religious denomination without interference from the Government.
Veaceslav Balan, UN Human Rights Office Coordinator in Moldova, said that followers of the Orthodox Church at the time felt threatened by this new law, especially the acceptance of the Islamic League. They felt, as Balan explained, that it was limiting the space and moral authority of the Orthodox Church in the country.
Sergui Sochirca, President of the Islamic League, has been quoted as saying: "The process of registration took several years with intense opposition by members of the Orthodox Church and various Christian groups. Protests filled the streets of Moldova opposing the registration of the Islamic League and the law itself."

Finally after years of struggle, the Islamic League of Moldova (Liga Islamica din Moldova), an NGO representing Moldova's Muslims, was registered by the Moldovan Justice Ministry as the first legally recognized Muslim association in Moldova in March 2011.

Today, officially there were just 2,000 Muslims in Moldova. But the Islamic League of Moldova believes the number closer to 17,000, though not all of them were registered as Muslims due to suppression of Islam in the past.

Muslims in Moldova are very exuberant about their religion and celebrate all festivals with great enthusiasm and religious fervour.
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Eid ul Fitr at the Islamic Cultural Center in Chisinau 06/04/2019
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Women too join the men folk in offering the Eid prayers. Moldovan Muslims believe in that "Family is a place of happiness" and are ever willing for joint gatherings to celebrate, hug and share their happiness with each other.
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On such festivities the henna hand painting is as common in Moldova as in any other Muslim country. 
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The Eid festivities end around a well laid food table to enjoy the feast together before dispersing. 
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I look forward for more information from my Moldovan brothers and sisters. Stay blessed.

Disclaimer: The data for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

To know more about life of Muslims in other non Muslim countries, please visit our page: Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo (Moldova Flag) | All other photos credit Liga Islamica din Republica Moldova Facebook |
Other References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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