"Religion Sinicization" Yunnan Shadian Grand Mosque removes Islamic dome "Religion Sinicization" Yunnan Shadian Grand Mosque removes Islamic dome

"Religion Sinicization" Yunnan Shadian Grand Mosque removes Islamic dome

"Religion Sinicization" Yunnan Shadian Grand Mosque removes Islamic dome
Since Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, the policy of "Sinicization of religion" has affected the spread of almost all major religions in the East and the West in China. This includes official churches such as Christianity and Catholicism requiring believers to "love the party and the country", Tibetan Buddhist temples hanging portraits of many Chinese Communist Party leaders, a campaign to forcibly demolish church crosses in many populous provinces, and the phenomenon of unofficial house church preachers being detained and prosecuted by the authorities on charges of "illegal business" and "fraud" is becoming increasingly common.

In addition, as the authorities escalate their high-pressure policies against Muslim minority areas such as Xinjiang, a movement to transform mosques has also reached its peak. According to an exclusive report released by the British "Guardian" on May 27, the Arabic-style dome of Shadian Grand Mosque, China's largest mosque located at the junction of Gejiu, Kaiyuan and Mengzi in Yunnan Province, has disappeared after the reconstruction. Instead, it has been replaced by a Chinese palace-style four-cornered main building and four octagonal tower-shaped buildings surrounding the mosque. Another iconic mosque in Yunnan, Najiaying Mosque, about 160 kilometers away from Shadian, has also recently removed its Islamic features during renovation.

Shadian Grand Mosque

As early as 2018, the Chinese government released a five-year plan for the "Sinicization of Islam." The report quoted Yusupov, an anthropologist at Cornell University in the United States who had conducted field research in Shadian, as saying that the transformation of the two iconic mosques marked the completion of the "Sinicization of religion" movement. Even though some local villages still retain small Arab-style mosques, it is difficult for religious communities to object to the authorities' "Sinicization" actions.

A Chinese Communist Party memo disclosed by The Guardian shows that in addition to reconstruction, local governments have been instructed to "adhere to the principle of more demolition and less construction" for religious sites. Hannah Sick, a historian of Chinese Islam at the University of Plymouth in the UK, pointed out that the Sinicization of mosques has now made progress "province by province", and Yunnan, one of the provinces farthest from Beijing, is the last region to achieve this goal. Ma Juze, a Chinese Hui activist in New York, warned that the "Sinicization" of the Shadian Grand Mosque is a clear signal that the authorities are trying to destroy the Muslim religion and race.

This station previously reported that in May last year, the renovation of the Najiaying Mosque in Yunnan Province caused a large-scale confrontation between local residents and the police. However, after the protest was suppressed, the renovation project continued. There are widespread concerns that the Chinese government's move to renovate the mosque is only part of its plan to purge religious ideology.


  1. It is sparking resistance and concerns over the erosion of religious freedom.

  2. Informative

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