Why Sochi Has No Mosques
- to find a suitable place for the construction of God’s house,” he said, according to Caucasian Policy.
But Sochi’s impasse only underscores the larger issues facing religious freedom in Russia. The mining city of Kostomuksha recently scrapped a mosque construction project, approved six years ago, due to local protests. Another approved plan, for a mosque in the steppe city of Novokuznetsk, also fell through. And as international religious freedom advocate Katrina Lantos-Swett pointed out at an event at Washington’s Heritage Foundation last week, Moscow “has two million Muslims, but only four mosques”—a number that’s not likely to change now that mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said the city has reached its limit.
In Putin’s Russia, there’s at least one construction boom the government can’t seem to get behind.