Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region residents and police report that Chinese authorities have prohibited Uyghurs from praying in mosques and even at home during Eid-ul-Fitr, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA).
According to sources, elderly people over 60 were allowed to pray in a local mosque during Eid, which fell on April 20-21 this year.
There have been restrictions or bans on ethnic customs and religious rituals in China since 2017 They say they want to eliminate “religious indoctrination” by the majority Muslim Uyghurs.
During Eid, Xinjiang authorities patrolled city streets and searched houses to prevent crime In a report published by RFA, sources said they were trying to prevent people from secretly praying inside their homes.
One mosque is located in Yarkowruk town in Akesu Prefecture, according to an administrative staffer Eid prayers were open.
To keep an eye on the crowd, our police officers went to the mosque. The employee stated, “I don’t know if they needed permission to go to the mosque because | did not go there. In Bulung town, Bay County, only citizens over 60 years old were permitted to pray if they so desired, according to a police officer at the neighborhood police station. However, only one mosque was open for Eid services.
The officer explained that the government had issued a notice prohibiting those under the age of 60 from participating in Eid prayers.
According to RFA, only a dozen Uyghur elders attended Eid prayers at a mosque in Bulung as three police officers and a number of auxiliary police staff members watched and noted the Uyghurs’ names.
The policeman claimed, “The mosque was open yesterday, and we went there to surveil people,” adding that he had warned locals under 60 not to visit the mosque.
A resident of Kashgar Prefecture’s Maralbexi county claimed that neither her relatives nor neighbors observed Eid prayers or celebrations.
She informed RFA that the mosque wasn’t open. “On Eid, my husband—a police officer—went to work. The Eid ul-Fitr prayer wasn’t held here. It was silent.