More than 21,000 people from 162 countries have so far applied to take part in two prestigious Saudi-organized religious competitions.

Launched earlier this year by Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the Kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority GEA the Qur’an and Adhan recital contests will offer a winners’ prize pot of 7 million Saudi Riyadh which is equivalent to 1.9 million dollars.

Al-Sheikh says the initiative aims to enhance image of Islam internationally.

According to the GEA, more than 11,000 entries have been received for the Qur’an recitation contest and at least 9,000 people have applied to take part in the Adhan event.

“The winner of the Qur’an recital competition will receive SR5 million in prize money, and the Adhan victor will bag SR2 million,” state Al-sheikh

Al-sheikh said anyone wishing to participate in the competitions has until the end of July to register.

On-stage live performances will be held from Aug. 24 to Sept. 24, with the winners being announced and awarded throughout the final stage from Sept. 25 until Oct. 25.