China: Woman imams play indispensable role in China's largest Muslim region
As early as the late Ming dynasty (around the 17th century), the faithful had set up female Muslim schools around the country. These turned into female mosques operated by women imams in late Qing dynasty (around the 19th century). The practice of female imams then spread to all the Chinese Muslim societies, said Shui Jingjun, a Henan Provincial Academy of Social Sciences researcher. Currently, Ningxia has more than 80 female imams. There are more than 3,600 registered mosques and 6,000 ahongs in the region, he said.
23 June 2008
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