(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Chinese authorities are ordering Muslims in the country to hand over their prayer mats and copies of the Quran or else face punishment, it has been reported.
Officials in Xinjiang province have warned members of the Uyghur ethnic minority they must surrender religious items on pain of "harsh punishments", according to an exile leader.
"We received a notification saying that every single ethnic Uyghur must hand in any Islam-related items from their own home, including Qurans, prayers and anything else bearing the symbols of religion," Dilxat Raxit, of the exile World Uyghur Congress, told Radio Free Asia(RFA), which is operated by the US government.
The directive also applies to ethnic Kazakh and Kyrgyz Muslims, RFA said. It was reportedly announced via the WeChat social network.