1100 GMT February 19, 2019
Representatives of 84 countries have announced their readiness to participate in Iran's 35th International Qur'an Competition, announced the event's secretary, noting that more than half of them are
from non-Muslim countries.
Mostafa Hosseini further said that Asia will field 112 participants in the event while 103, 35 and eight Qur'an activists will represent Africa, Europe and the US respectively.
Tehran will host the international event, whose slogan this year is 'One Book, One Ummah', from April 19-26 at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Grand Prayer Grounds (Mosalla).
According to the official, the sections of the festival will include: Women, Men, Seminary Students, University Students and Visually-Impaired.
Turning to this year's event, which is the second edition in which women will take part, he said that this year 28 women will participate in the event compared to 18 last year.
Seminary students from 44 countries will take part in sections such as recitation, memorization and interpretation, he added.
Hosseini said this is the first year that university students will be allowed to take part in this festival, adding that last year only school students could participate.
According to Hosseini, Iran's international Qur'an festival is the biggest Qur'anic event in the world which includes dozens of cultural, Qur'anic and educational programs.
The oldest Qur'anic competition is annually held in Malaysia and this year it will hold its 60th edition, while Iran's Qur'anic event will experience its 35th edition.
11th International Conference on Qur'anic Researches will be also held in Qom from April 18-20 with the participation of Iranian and international experts.
A total of 1,115 works have been submitted to the festival's secretariat of which 985 papers are domestic and 130 titles are international.