Residents of the Kosino-Ukhtomsky district in Moscow held a protest against the construction of a mosque in their area, despite the fact that officially a utility plant is being built on the site, and local authorities and the Muslim Spiritual Administration of Moscow claim to have no information about the mosque construction plans.
The scandal over the possible construction of the mosque in the area has grown on social media and spilled over into an unauthorized protest by local residents.
On March 12th, after church service, Christians in the area walked around their district with placards and icons, in what was called a “crusade”.
Later, they held a heated discussion about the issue.
The protest attracted the attention of law enforcement, but no one was dispersed.
Posts about the mosque construction plans began appearing on social media in February, with users claiming that a complex with a mosque for 60,000 people, a madrasah and a shopping center would be built on the site next to a lake considered holy by Orthodox Christians.
However, representatives of the local government and the Muslim Spiritual Administration of Moscow officially stated that they were unaware of any plans to build a mosque.
Despite this, activists from various organizations urged people to “stand up and organize protests, sign petitions.” Meanwhile, some participants in the Sunday gathering have already been visited by the police.
Law enforcement officials have given residents official warnings about criminal liability for organizing unauthorized mass actions, as well as inciting interethnic strife.