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Old Mosque in Mértola. Converted into a church

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According to the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (the National Statistical Institute of Portugal), there were, according to the 1991 census, 9,134 Muslims in Portugal, about 0.1% of the total population, even though the Islamic Community of Lisbon presently points to a number of about 40,000.[1] Most of the Muslim population originates from the former Portuguese overseas provinces of Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique, most of the latter having their origin in the Indian subcontinent.

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History

For several centuries, from 711 to 1249, much of the territory of what is now Portugal (namely south of the Douro or Mondego rivers, but particularly in the Alentejo and the Algarve) was under Moorish Muslim control, and was called Al-Garb Al-Andalus (the west of Al-Andalus), although the majority of the population remained Christian of the Mozarabic Rite (or Visigothic rite). This presence has left a significant cultural heritage in Portugal, notably in the form of islamic art. The Portuguese language has also been influenced, with many words borrowed from the Arabic language. In Mértola is the only mosque that partially survives, having been converted to a Catholic Church after the Reconquista.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established in 1957 in Portugal.[2]

References

See also

External links

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