Mecca will be off limits to the vast majority of Muslims this year, after Saudi Arabia announced that only a select few, all from within the country, would be allowed to participate in the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
The religious ceremony, which begins in mid-July, will be limited to 60,000 pilgrims between the ages of 18 to 65 who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, the kingdom’s Hajj and Umrah Ministry said in a statement released on Saturday. All participants must either be citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia.
The restrictions reflect Riyadh’s “constant concern for the safety and security of pilgrims, as well as the safety of their countries,” the ministry explained.
All Muslims who can perform Hajj are required to do so at least once in their lifetime, and d...
More than 100 buildings housing about 1,500 people in the al-Bustan area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem face demolition.
Silwan, Occupied East Jerusalem – Nearly 120 Palestinian families face the destruction of their homes to make way for an Israeli religious theme park where the Israelis believe King David had a garden in biblical times.
About 1,500 people living in more than 100 buildings in the al-Bustan area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem are under threat.
On Monday, Jerusalem Municipality inspectors, accompanied by Israeli forces, delivered notices to demolish at least 13 of those homes and structures within 21 days, after an Israeli court ruled earlier they had been constructed without building permits.
“Stating that the orders were delivered is somewhat ...
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls the killing of four members of a Muslim family in Ontario a ‘terrorist attack’.
Montreal, Canada – Like so many others have done during the coronavirus pandemic, the Afzaal family was out for an evening walk. But on Sunday, as they waited to cross a street in London, Ontario, they were run down by a driver police say was motivated by anti-Muslim hate.
For members of Muslim communities across the country, the Islamophobic attack that killed four people, including a teenage girl, and seriously injured a nine-year-old boy, harkens back to painful memories of a deadly assault on a Quebec mosque more than four years ago.
It is also a sign that something is terribly wrong.
“The sentiment that I’m hearing across the board, and I think everybody...
Mr Edward Sebalimba has for the better part of his life been walking from Kabale District in Western Uganda to Namugongo in Wakiso District, a distance of about 520kms to celebrate Martyrs Day.
“I used to take about 11 days walking from Kabale to Namugongo and I was much prepared to walk for this year’s celebrations,” he says.
Mr Sebalimba is sad that he has not been to Namugongo for the second year running. “Besides spiritual healing, the annual walk has always been a spiritual and healthy walk,” he says.
Mr Mike Ssajjabbi, a catechist at Kitovu Catholic Parish in Masaka Diocese, has also for the last 16 years been trekking to Namugongo for the celebrations.
“In 2016, when I moved to Namugongo, I asked the martyrs to intercede on my behalf for God ...
The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stephen Kaziimba has asked Christians to respect the Covid-19 guidelines as they celebrate the Martyrs day.
Kaziimba on Tuesday addressed journalists at his residence in Namirembe ahead of the commemoration of Uganda Martyrs Day on Thursday 3rd June.
In previous years, millions of people from within and outside Uganda thronged both the Anglican and Catholic Shrines to commemorate the martyrs, a brave group of young men who died while defending their faith.
At the Catholic Shrine, Christians start accessing the centre on May 25, when a Novena which is often prayed nine days earlier in preparation for a feast or a specific intention is recited. The earlier arrivals of both national and international faithful’s has also previ...
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA - Saudi Arabia is requiring all pilgrims for the scaled-back, annual Hajj in July to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In Tanzania, where vaccinations have not yet begun, Muslims hoping to go to Mecca are urging authorities to start jabbing.
Omar Aboubakar, like many other Muslims in Tanzania, wants to make the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. It’s an integral part of the Muslim faith, but for now only those immunized against COVID-19 can take part in this year’s Hajj.
Aboubakar is worried because vaccinations in Tanzania have yet to be approved.
“The time remaining is limited but still, we haven't given up,” he said. “We expect our top leaders to check on the issue of vaccination carefully so we can accomplish this holy w...