BRUSSELS, Dec 22, (KUNA) -- Six mosques have been officially recognized in the Flanders region in northern Belgium, local media reported Saturday.
The recognized mosques will now receive state subsidies and imams will also get a wage from the public purse.
Imams will only qualify if they can show that they are integrated and can speak Dutch and are familiar with Flemish society.
Starting next year the authorities in Flanders will pay 30 percent of the mosques' building costs, the Flandersnews website reported.
Last year, the government of the Wallon region in southern Belgium granted official recognition to 43 mosques.
It is estimated that there are about 300 mosques in Belgium where some 400, 000 Muslims live out of the total of 10 million population linguistically divided into a French speaking Wallonia in the south and Dutch speaking Flanders in the north. (end) KUNA 222021 Dec 07NNNN