22 February 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 02/05/2018, 15.05

    HOLY LAND

    January 2018, 'extraordinary' boom in pilgrimages to the Holy Land



    The presence of Chinese, Russian and Eastern European pilgrims increased significantly. The "controlled" reaction of the Palestinians against Trump's decision on capital Jerusalem. Pilgrimages "good for the whole population": They help fight terrorism and fundamentalism.

    Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - 2018 began with an "extraordinary boom" in pilgrimages. The Christian Information Center recently announced this, confirming the statistics of the Israeli ministry for tourism: the tensions over Jerusalem have not affected the steadily increasing number of pilgrims arriving in the Holy Land.

    In the month that has just ended, 770 groups of pilgrims went to the Holy Land, for a total of 26 thousand people. A far more significant figure than the 529 groups registered in January 2017 and 390 in 2016.

    A "boom" in pilgrimages that began at the end of 2017, as told by Sobhy Makhoul, deacon of the Maronite Patriarchate of Jerusalem. "Between November and mid-December there were many pilgrims, so many that for the first time we had to house some of them in the city like Hebron, almost 30 km south of Bethlehem."

    "Europeans - he continues - are returning but not only, Chinese, Russian and Eastern European pilgrims are on the rise. There is a great movement on the part of the Orthodox Churches, they come in hundreds and hundreds. The fact that Israel has facilitated the visa application for the Chinese has also had a positive impact. For example, those who have already obtained a European visa can enter Israel without problems. Many rich Chinese come here, some of these are Protestants. "

    "On paper, for 2018 there is an unexpected demand, we are hoping that the political situation will allow it, that there will be no sparks of tension".

    The deacon emphasizes that not only are Christian pilgrimages on the rise, but also Muslim ones. In particular, there are huge flows of pilgrims from Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey.

    According to Makhoul, the "hesitations" of the pilgrims were reassured by the "controlled" reaction of the Palestinians to the decision of the American president Donald Trump to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. "The Palestinians want to protest peacefully - explains the Maronite - all [the media] talk about war, but no one here wants it. Even the population in Israel no longer wants to hear about wars. People want peace, they want to live".

    "[These pilgrimages] are for the good of the population; not only Christians, but also Muslims and Jews", concludes Makhoul. "When the economic situation is positive, people live and work. Fundamentalism and terrorism only take root where there is poverty and ignorance. This is something that the Western world must understand, by beginning to think differently about how to act and intervene in our "third world", helping people develop ".

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    TAGs











    See also

    22/04/2017 15:31:00 HOLY LAND
    The ancient tradition of tattoos in the Holy Land

    At first, the tattoo was a sign of oppression that was eventually claimed as a proof of faith. From the crusades to the present day, for pilgrims the tattoo is a permanent testament to their journey.



    13/07/2010 HOLY LAND
    More pilgrimages to the Holy Land “due to pilgrims from Asia,” says Fr Pizzaballa
    The first half of 2010 sets a new record. More than a million pilgrims or 39 per cent more than a year before come to the Holy Land. For the Custodian of the Holy land, the increase strengthens local Christian communities.

    26/03/2013 HOLY LAND
    Jerusalem, 35 thousand pray for peace in the Holy Land
    Thousands from all over the world in procession from the Mount of Olives to the Old City of Jerusalem. For the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Palm Sunday is the rejection of all violence. Number of pilgrims doubled compared to 2012.

    21/12/2006 HOLY LAND
    The peace that Christmas announces lies in a rapprochement between the two peoples, says Mgr Sabbah
    In his message, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem laments the endless violence, injustice and occupation. Bethlehem “lives in conditions of death, with the wall, and conflict in the land and in the hearts”. The future lies in coexistence, not separation, between Israelis and Palestinians.

    19/03/2008 HOLY LAND
    The patriarch of Jerusalem leaves his post and calls for peace
    Archbishop Michel Sabbah leaves his post as Latin patriarch of Jerusalem after 20 years, and releases an Easter message, calling for peace and reconciliation the Holy Land.



    Editor's choices

    BANGLADESH
    Snehonir, the 'house of tenderness' for the disabled (photos)



    Founded 25 years ago by Shanti Rani Sisters and PIME missionaries in Rajshahi, the facility is open to the mentally and physically disabled, deaf, blind, orphans, poor, and abandoned. The guiding principle is to start them in life.


    KOREA
    Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug



    After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®