COVID-19: Exploring Faith Dimensions
Religious gatherings as a focus: Malaysia case

Worldwide and across religious traditions the issue of cancelling, not cancelling, or adjusting gatherings related to religious practice and calendars is an urgent and central concern. A poignant illustration is from Malaysia, where it is now known that the virus spread widely in Malaysia and in other countries through a single event. The Tabligh Akbar annual event that brings together thousands of Islamic missionaries took place at the end of February. Over 16,000 pilgrims gathered at the Jamek Mosque at Seri Petaling, one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur. Most came from within Malaysia, but about 1,500 traveled from other countries including Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Philippines. By early March it became clear that disease had spread rapidly during the four-day event. About two-thirds of the confirmed cases in Malaysia have been traced to this single event.

(Based on March 18, 2020, ABC News article)
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