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Chinese Muslims return after Mecca pilgrimage

2013-11-08 09:24 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

A group of 288 Chinese Muslims, the last to return after their pilgrimage to Mecca this year, arrived in Beijing on Thursday via charter flight.

A total of 11,800 Chinese pilgrims have safely returned to China from Mecca, Saudi Arabia via the country's charter flights for this year's pilgrimage, according to the State Administration for Religious Affairs.

Although some new challenges emerged in the organization work of this year's pilgrimage, such as the spread of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, the administration has completed the task with great support from various departments in diplomacy, police, civil aviation and other fields, according to the administration.

The administration and the Islamic Association of China also sent a work group consisting of more than 100 guides, medical workers, chefs and volunteers to provide services for Chinese pilgrims, it said.

The Mecca pilgrimage, also known as the Hajj, is a Muslim religious tradition that requires all able-bodied Muslims who can afford to travel to visit Mecca at least once in their lives.

China has more than 20 million Muslims, most of whom live in the western provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan, as well as the Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions.

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