24,000 Chinese Haj pilgrims to visit Mecca in 2010By IANS
Monday, November 1, 2010
BEIJING - Over 24,000 Chinese Muslims will visit Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the Haj pilgrimage this year, Xinhua reported Monday.
A total of 11,200 Chinese Muslims have already left for the holy city, the State Administration for Religious Affairs said.
Thirteen thousand more are expected to leave on 41 chartered flights from Beijing, Lanzhou, Urumqi, Yinchuan and Kunming cities, Yang Shuli of the China Islamic Institute said.
Islamic leaders, doctors and officials are accompanying each group of pilgrims. China has about 23 million Muslims.
The first plane took off from Zhongchuan Airport in Lanzhou, the capital of China’s northwestern Gansu province Oct 18. The last plane is scheduled to leave Nov 4.