Islam’s “holy pilgrimage” (in Arabic, “Hajj”) began in Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities of Islam, on July 29th on a five-day schedule.
For the regular pilgrimage to observe Islam’s most sacred annual ritual, more than 2.5 million people usually gather in Mecca from around the world each year. However, this year, the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) pandemic has greatly reduced the number of maximum allowed participants to only 1,000.
These 1,000 were selected by lottery among foreign Muslims and Saudi Arabian citizens who do not come from abroad and live in Saudi Arabia.
The annual pilgrimage to Mecca is often so crowded that people die every year from being pressed on their sides or stampeded on, but this year, all the attendees will be divided into groups of 50.
Saudi authorities have also considered ways to close Mecca and cancel regular pilgrimages this year since March, when COVID-19 began to spread rapidly, but they decided to proceed with a drastic reduction in pilgrims instead of a total cancellation due to the Hajj’s religious significance.
After the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the holiday Eid al-Adha follows. This holiday is the peak annual season for Muslim tourism and consumption and frequent family visits, so governments in the Middle East are being particularly careful with travel restrictions around this time, so as not to spread COVID-19.
Source: Yonhap News
5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.
Lord, the five-day Islamic holy pilgrimage has begun in Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia. The number of attendees is limited to domestic residents and lottery picks, and the maximum number of visitors has been greatly reduced.
1000 Muslims still attend the Hajj, performing vain rituals, and Muslims around the world will watch and admire this scene, again surrendering to vanity.
Lord, have mercy on the Muslims around the world who serve false gods with a wrong view of salvation. Give them the grace to escape the delusion of false prophets!
Help them to now realize that the blood of Jesus Christ that was spilled out on the cross, not man’s self-fulfilling good works, is the only way to truly cleanse all sin.
We pray for the churches of the world to unite together against Islam in these last days and serve the Muslim souls for whom God desperately seeks!
Lord, we want go to them with the gospel and bring them home. We pray for more missionaries to rise from around the world. Let the young generation army that does not fear death commit to living and dying only for Jesus and the gospel and to bringing Muslims salvation with compassion! Amen!