The Sunni community of Vilnius plans to build a small mosque.
The construction is to cost between 7 and 8 million euros and is to be finished within the next few years.
Lithuania’s National Land Service has given the Vilnius Sunni religious community the right to use a 8,4000-square-metre land plot free of charge for a mosque in the Liepkalnis area of Vilnius.
Mufti Aleksandras Beganskas says that the funding for the construction will come from Turkey, and probably Saudi Arabia or Qatar. He adds that the community does not expect to get any support from the Lithuanian state.
The construction should start once the funding and building permits are secured, Beganskas says.
At the moment, there are four operating mosques in Lithuania: in Nemezis, Keturiasdesimties Totoriu Kaimas (the Village of 40 Tatars) in Vilnius district, in Raiziai near Alytus, and in Kaunas.
The Muslim community of Vilnius currently uses the Center of Islamic Culture and Education for prayer. Between 150 and 200 people attend prayers on Fridays.
Under the plan, the new mosque would hold up to 600 people.
The majority of Muslims in Lithuania are Tatars and Sunni. Some 3,000 Tatars live in Lithuania, based on figures from the 2011 census. (LRT/Business World Magazine)