Saudi preachers asked to keep sermons short amid swine flu fears

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Islamic Affairs has instructed Muslim preachers to keep their sermons short over fears that the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, might spread in crowded mosques. Reducing the duration of typically long Friday sermons at crowded mosques would minimize the risk of the spread of the virus, the ministry said.

The ministry also instructed the imams to use sermons to dispel rumours about how swine flu is spread and to urge the faithful to observe good hygiene to prevent infection, according to Ministry of Health guidelines.