The largest mosque in Scandinavia has opened in Sweden, which is one of the least religious and most atheistic nations in the Western world, reports have said, costing the Qatari government $3.30 million to build.
Qatar's Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs reported the news on Wednesday, explaining that the Umm Al-Mu'minin Khadijah Mosque in Malmo, expanding to 19,278 square feet (1,791 square meters), will be able to accommodate up to 2,000 worshipers. Breitbart News noted that Qatar is an absolute monarchy largely ruled by Sharia law, and has been accused by U.S. officials of funding radical Islamic terrorism.
"We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to [Islamic State] and other radical Sunni groups in the region," an email by former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton acknowledged in 2014, as released by WikiLeaks in 2016.
Atheism has also been rising in Sweden, with a 2014 national study noting that nearly eight out of 10 Swedes are either "not religious" or "convinced atheists," making the nation one of the least religious countries in the Western world.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden admitted in February that people are leaving the faith in record numbers, with the 90,000 people who left the Church in 2016 being almost double the number of those who quit in 2015.The Swedish Church used pollsters Norstat to conduct the survey, which found that 40 percent of respondents made the decision to leave the Church because they "no longer believe in God," which was the most popular reason given. Some, such as Monsignor Carlo Liberati, a Roman Catholic archbishop, have warned that there is a link in the rise of atheism and the rise of Islam in Europe.
Speaking on the rise of the Muslim population in Italy, which went from 2,000 in 1970 to 2 million in 2016, Liberati admitted that the Church is not doing a good job in bringing and keeping people in the Christian faith. "Parishes are the only thing still standing. We need a true Christian life. All this paves the way to Islam. In addition to this, they have children and we do not. We are in full decline," he warned.
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