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(RNS) This year’s hajj challenge is the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, which was first reported in Saudi Arabia last year.


  1. […] The Saudi government issues a set number of hajj visas annually. Although those are free, the trip carries considerable costs, especially for transportation and lodging, and pilgrims must use an approved travel agent. Hajj packages from the United States may exceed $5,000. More than 14,500 American Muslims are expected to perform the hajj this year, according to the Religion News Service. […]