Jewish annual pilgrimage to the Ghriba cancelled due to coronavirus

The annual Jewish pilgrimage to the Ghriba on the island of Djerba, scheduled for May 7 to 13 in Tunisia, has been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.This event usually gathers thousands of pilgrims from around the world.

The Ghriba synagogue, the oldest in Africa, has been closed since the spread of the coronavirus in Tunisia, where 886 cases have been officially declared, including 38 fatal cases.

“We will only reopen the synagogue once the danger of the virus has passed”, and simultaneously with the reopening of mosques and other places of worship in Tunisia, said Perez Trabelsi, one of the organisers of the pilgrimage.

To limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Tunisian Ministry of Religious Affairs has suspended collective prayer and decided to close religious services across the country.

Thousands of people from Europe but also from North America and Israel participate, an influx that has been on the rise in recent years thanks to improved security.

The festivities were also cancelled in 2011, when the country was in the midst of the Arab Spring, but the synagogue remained open then.

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