SHAFAQNA -Â As preparations are underway for the opening of the Cathedral mosque in Moscow, the Russian Muslim Board noted recently that several Muslim leaders along with leaders of different faiths will attend the long-awaited Islamic event, according to media reports.Â
Scheduled on September 23, the opening ceremony of the decades-old mosque is expected to draw hundreds of political and spiritual leaders of Muslim countries.Â
“I think the top officials [of Islamic countries] will undoubtedly attend,” Damir Gizatullin, first deputy chairman of the Muslim Board of Russia’s European Part, said on Friday.Â
“World-famous religious figures, and not only Muslims, but also our brothers Orthodox Christians, Jews and Buddhists â€œwill also be invited.Â
“This ceremony will bring Russia closer to the Islamic world, which now sees good examples represented by the Russian state and the Muslims who live in it,” Gizatullin said.Â
Built in 1904, the historical Moscow Cathedral Mosque, located on Olimpiysky Avenue, was demolished in 2011.
With an official population of 12.5 million, Russia’s capital is now home to at least 1.5 million Muslims, according to political analyst Alexei Malashenko.Â
Recently, Moscow has witnessed major `Eid al-Fitr prayer in which more than 60,000 gathered for prayers at the golden-domed Sobornaya mosque.Â
According to Russia Today, experts say that, by 2050, Muslims will make up about half of Russia’s population, making it one of the worldâ€™s largest countries.