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14,500 Mainland Chinese Muslims arrive in Makkah to perform Hajj

With a Muslim population of over 21 million in China, it is hoped more will come next year.

Mainland Chinese Muslims have arrived in Makkah, Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. Last year, 14,528 Chinese pilgrims did it. This year, 14,500 arrived on last Saturday.

Makkah drone

China’s Xinhua News reported State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) said on Saturday that 37 flights were chartered to take the Chinese Muslims to the annual Islamic pilgrimage in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Read: Cycle of life: Chinese Muslim cycles 7,800 km in 4 months to perform Hajj 2016

SARA vice head Zhang Yantong and other officials, including Saudi Arabia’s deputy ambassador to China, saw the pilgrims off at the Beijing Capital International Airport, the China News Agency (CNA) reported on Saturday.

Zhang said the Communist Party of China has always paid great attention to the Hajj and wished the pilgrims well, and hopes Chinese Muslims give a positive image, according to CNA. Even though there’s been plenty of reports of Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims and other religions on the rise in China by the Atheist Chinese Communist Party.

Chinese Muslims oppressed

A total of 297 Muslims boarded a chartered flight in Lanzhou, Gansu’s capital on August 15, according to the Gansu Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.

It was reportedly Gansu’s first chartered flight this year to the Hajj.

Yang Zhibo, vice president of the China Islamic Association, told CNA on Saturday that over 10,000 Chinese Muslims have been going to Mecca each year since 2012, and that the number will rise since Makkah is an expanding city.

SARA is working with relevant authorities to provide medical services, security, accommodations and transportation to the pilgrims, according to CNA.

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