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PHOTOS: The Shiite pilgrimage Arbaeen

(RNS) Drawing an estimated 17 million pilgrims, the Shiite ritual known as Arbaeen dwarfs even the hajj. Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the seventh-century slaying of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, which engendered the Sunni-Shiite schism.

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Open sectarianism in Saudi Arabia frightens Shiites

QATIF, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) The fate of Saudi Arabia's 2 million or so Shiites is closely watched because of the country's intimate involvement in the region's sectarian conflict through its rivalry with Iran and the teachings of its influential clergy that Shiism is heretical.