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Muslims celebrate end of Ramadan

By Li Yao  (China Daily)

08:40, August 20, 2012

During holy month, faithful gave 3 million yuan to nursing homes

Muslims in China celebrated the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, on Sunday.

Thousands of people crowded the Niujie Mosque in Beijing's Muslim quarter for Eid al-Fitr, or the Fast-Breaking Festival. Some people arrived several hours early for a group prayer at 10 am. Despite scorching heat, many people stood outside the halls and some brought their own carpets.

Traffic control was conducted on Niujie Street in front of the mosque, and vehicles were not allowed to pass on Sunday morning. Four bus lines diverted their routes from the area. Several ambulances and police cars were on standby.

In the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, more than 2.2 million Hui Muslims enjoy four days off from Saturday to Tuesday to celebrate the festival.

In the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, 1,000 metric tons of additional meat products were supplied last week to ensure more than 11 million Muslims in the region could celebrate the occasion at affordable prices.

In China, 10 ethnic groups follow Islam and observe Eid al-Fitr.

During this Ramadan, Muslims have donated 3 million yuan ($472,000) to nursing homes, the Chinese Islamic Association said at a reception at the Great Hall of the People on Sunday.

The call for donations during Ramadan was the association's first nationwide charity initiative. The effort will be followed by a philanthropic week in September, said Chen Guangyuan, president of the association.

In an announcement in March, the State Administration for Religious Affairs encouraged faith-based groups to engage in more charitable work and set preferential policies such as subsidies and tax reductions for the establishment of foundations, nursing homes and hospitals.

The association's donation campaign for nursing homes succeeded with the support of Muslim business and imams who gave endorsement lectures. Many mosques, lower-level Islamic associations and individuals gave money and living necessities to seniors, said Guo Chengzhen, vice-president of the association.


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