BEIJING, Dec 9 (APP)::Chairman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Shohrat Zakir Monday said the government fully protected normal religious activities of believers and made great efforts to improve the conditions of their religious venues.

“We protect believers’ normal religious activities and needs, and make great efforts to improve the conditions of religious venues and activities,” Shohrat Zakir, who along with other four Xinjiang local officials interacted with the media here, said.

He said the mosques in Xinjiang had been equipped with basic needs such as running water, electricity, natural gas and new facilities such as LED screens, air conditioners, drinking water facilities, shoe covering and automatic dispensers.

He said the clerics received monthly allowance of 1,000 to 5,000 yuan, besides having coverage of medical insurance, old-age insurance, serious illness insurance and accident insurance.

In Xinjiang, there were more than 24,000 mosques, representing a mosque for every 530 Muslims on average, he added.

About efforts for fighting and preventing terrorism, he said from 1990 to the end of 2016, separatist, terrorist and extremist forces launched thousands of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, killing ordinary people, assassinating religious leaders, endangering public security, attacking government organs, and planning riots.

He said the training centers and vocational education were designed to save those who committed minor crimes or offences.

For the last three years, Xinjiang had seen no violent terrorist attack, he added.

He also gave statistics about the marked progress in economy with the help of financial support of the central government as well as the reforms and opening up.

Shohrat Zakir also mentioned about the employment opportunities, education and health facilities to local people.

Erkin Tuniyaz, vice chairman of Xinjiang autonomous region’s government, contradicted reports about restriction of Muslims’ freedom of religious belief and dismantling of mosques.

β€œThese claims totally confused the right with wrong, as respecting and protecting freedom of religious belief is a basic state policy of China,” he added.