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China’s Muslim region to subsidize senior religious personnel

Updated: Dec 20,2014 2:42 PM     Xinhua

YINCHUAN — Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region, where many of the Muslim Hui ethnic minority live, will start to give monthly living allowances to senior religious personnel from January next year, local authorities said Dec 20.

They include registered imams in mosques, abbots in Buddhist and Taoist temples and bishops in Christian and Catholic churches, according to the regional ethnic affairs commission.

They will get 400 yuan ($65) every month. Those who assume leading posts in county, municipal, regional and national religious groups can have an extra 100, 200, 300 and 400 yuan respectively.

The commission did not say why it introduced the trial policy, which will run for one year.

Those who break the law or carry out illegal religious activities will loose the allowance, according to the commission.

About one third of Ningxia’s 6.5 million population are Muslims. There are more than 3,700 mosques in the region.

The number of churches and temples in the region is not clear.