Religious upheavals as part of COVID-19 ravages? Iran as an early instance
A commentary on the impact of COVID-19 makes sweeping assertions about its impact in Iran: "Omnipotent and omnipresent: at breakneck speed, the novel coronavirus in Iran has eliminated everything that makes up the Islamic state – Friday sermons, pilgrimages, visits to mosques, gatherings of mourners, seminars by the ayatollahs and state-organised street parades, both religious and political." The strong suggested link is largely because Qom – the "holy" city and pilgrimage destination of 20 million believers annually – was the starting point of the epidemic in Iran and because it is linked to the national outbreak. But the implications of this global pandemic for religious communities and institutions are only starting to be felt.
(Based on March 13, 2020, Qantara.de article)