Walloon region of Belgium officially recognises mosques

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Belgium's French-speaking Walloon region has officially recognised 43 mosques, thus giving Islam the same rights as accorded to other religions in the region. They will be permitted to build minarets on their mosques, and Imams will be added to the government payroll, as is the case - for example - with Catholic priests.

Moves are afoot to apply for official recognition of a number of mosques in the other two main regions of Belgium: Brussels, and Flemish-speaking Flanders.

Most of the immigrant population in Belgium are Muslims, but until now the mosques were not yet officially recognised. The traditional faith in Belgium is Roman Catholicism. Other minor faiths are Protestant Christianity, Orthodox Christianity, and Judaism.

Buddhists also recently applied for official recognition as a religion in Belgium.