Indonesian Government has canceled the departure of pilgrims for Hajj 2020 due to health concerns amid Coronavirus.
Religious affairs minister explained this decision was made after much consideration, especially regarding health concerns.
Fachrul Razi said the government has taken this policy after considering the safety of pilgrims amid the novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The religion itself teaches that protecting the soul is an obligation that must be prioritized. ”
“These all become the basis for consideration in making the policy, “he said during a press conference.
He added that the global scale pandemic has affected the social aspects of religious worship, which is why the ministry had formed a Hajj 2020 crisis center early on. Fachrul hoped that Hajj can take place next year.
Indonesia has the largest contingent of pilgrims with a quota of 221,00 people this year.
City-state Singapore also announced last month that its citizens would not perform the Hajj this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry of Religion has conducted a literature review and collected a number of data and information on the implementation of the hajj during such a pandemic in the past.
The study shows that the organization of the Hajj during an infectious outbreak had resulted in a human tragedy causing tens of thousands of hajj pilgrims were victims.
Hajj, the pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest sites in the cities of Mecca and Medina, is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Muslims required to perform Hajj at least once in their life if they are able to do so.