Saudi Arabia (MNN) — Yesterday’s hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia killed hundreds of Muslim pilgrims, about two miles outside Mecca.
The stampede is undoubtedly a tragedy. However, “We must think of the God of Providence, who allows these things that we might pray,” notes Bob Blincoe with Frontiers USA.
“We weep for the widows, and the children whose fathers will not be coming home.”
What is the hajj?
The hajj is an annual pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest city: Mecca. The hajj is one of the “five pillars” of Islam and an essential part of Muslims’ faith and practice.
Original estimates listed the death toll near 800, with several hundreds more injured. According to CNN, yesterday’s tragedy took place during a Muslim ritual known as “stoning the devil.”
While astonishing, this isn’t the first hajj stampede that’s left widows and orphans behind.
The deadliest hajj stampede occurred 25 years ago, when nearly 1,500 Muslim pilgrims were crushed to death in a tunnel. BBC News lists a series of recent hajj stampedes in this article.
The hajj, and its accompanying rituals, are all part of an intensive spiritual effort on behalf of dedicated Muslims.
Sadly, “the endless sacrifices that people make at this time of year…do not give people assurance,” Blincoe shares.
That assurance only comes through Jesus Christ. It’s a Gospel message carried by Frontiers missionaries to the far corners of the Muslim world.
Muslims and missions
Frontiers USA collaborates with North American believers to reach the Muslim world for Christ. Whether helping churches send missionaries or equipping prayer warriors, Frontiers plays an active role in reaching out to Muslims.
Pray that the sorrow experienced by surviving families will draw them closer to the One True God.
Pray also “that God might deliver Muslims from a much worse fate–that is, eternal damnation and the defiance of God that will send them to eternal ruin,” adds Blincoe.