Indonesia cancels Hajj this year due to Corona
Indonesia has decided to cancel its Hajj program for its citizens this year due to the coronavirus and has also made a formal announcement.
According to Al Jazeera, Indonesia's Minister of Religious Affairs, the world's largest country by population, said the decision was made because of the coronavirus.
The Indonesian website Jakarta Globe reports that the government has decided not to send its citizens to Hajj this year, which has caused concern among Muslims who have been waiting for years for a religious duty.
Religious Affairs Minister Fachuri Razi said that "Saudi Arabia has not yet responded to any country regarding the Hajj."
"Now that the government has decided to cancel the 2020 Hajj, it was very difficult for us to make that decision and we know that many citizens will be heartbroken," he said.
Earlier, the Indonesian government said it would cancel the trip if Saudi Arabia did not make a final decision by May 20.
Later, on May 20, the Indonesian government asked Saudi Arabia to announce its decision to allow the Hajj in view of the coronavirus.
Indonesia's Ministry of Religious Affairs said a decision should be made before the end of Ramadan.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Oman Fateh-ur-Rehman, said: "We hope that a formal decision on the Hajj or its cancellation will be announced soon."
He said Indonesia had blocked accommodation, mobility, and other agreements with Saudi travel officials.
He said the ministry of religious affairs had not yet signed an agreement or paid a pledge for Hajj services in Saudi Arabia.
It should be noted that Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world and at least 231,000 of its citizens register for Hajj, which is the largest representation by any country.
On the other hand, the Saudi government had requested not to make preparations for the Hajj, but no clear decision had been made.
Hajj is a major source of income for Saudi Arabia, but the Saudi government has closed other holy sites, including the Kaaba, to the public for the past several months due to the coronavirus, but some easing was announced last week.
According to an AFP report, more than 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world traveled to Saudi Arabia last year to perform the Hajj.
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