Feature

Is Russia a Muslim country?

The week's news at a glance.

Moscow

Russia has begun a lobbying campaign to join the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the international grouping of Muslim countries. Russian diplomat Veniamin Popov went to Indonesia this week to ask the world’s most populous Muslim country to support Russia’s bid for observer status and eventual membership. “If a country like Guyana, whose Muslim population is just 9 percent of its total population, can become an OIC member,” said Popov, “why not Russia?” Some 13 percent of Russian citizens, or about 20 million people, are Muslims. Islam is the fastest-growing religion in Russia, as it is worldwide. Russia is now home to more than 7,000 mosques, up from fewer than 1,000 a decade ago.

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