The Greek government has faced increased pressure to build a place of worship, as there has been an increase in the number of Muslims due to migrants and refugees.
The approval for the construction of mosques has been blocked in the past due to objections from the government and residential committees. It is also suspected that due to poor relations with neighboring Turkey and influence from far-right groups, the greek government has been quicker to disregard the Muslim population and their needs.
The most recent approval has been accepted by the Council of State but is yet due to receive approval from the environment ministry and interior ministry, for the final approval to be made.
The construction of the mosque will total 1 million Euros and will be fully funded by the greek government. The mosque will be built in the Eleonas neighborhood and will be able to accommodate up to 350 Muslims. The mosque will be one story and will be built without a minaret.
The last consensus estimated that there were 200,00 Muslims in the Athens area alone. Muslims currently in Greece use illegally, such as abandoned warehouses and basements as places of worship, some estimates have stated there being 70 to 80 unauthorized mosques in Athens. Currently, only three buildings in Athens have been able to obtain licenses for Muslims be able to pray inside.
Below is a short documentary depicting the struggles of Muslims finding places to pray in the large metropolitan city of Athens.