Indonesia cancels hajj pilgrimage due to COVID-19 pandemic

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Indonesia has cancelled the hajj pilgrimage this year for people in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation due to concerns over the coronavirus, the religious affairs minister said on Tuesday.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Indonesians go on the haj to Saudi Arabia, with places allocated according to a quota system. The quota for this year was 221,000, with more than 90% of places already allocated. The average wait for a place on the pilgrimage is 20 years.

Dewi, an employee of a telecommunications company in Jakarta and registered to perform the pilgrimage this year, told Reuters that while she had waited six years, she had made peace with the news. “If that is the decision, I will accept it,” said Dewi, who did not want to give her full name. “After all, I believe that everything happens with God’s permission.”