Religious Tourism – Christianity

Beautiful church

Spirituality and finding roots are very much related to traveling. Faithless and faithful both find many answers when they travel. But, we all have seen that most religions in the world have religious sites that the followers visit. Some go for repentance, others perform a pilgrimage of sorts. But eventually, they associate someplace with the religion and talk about it as the root that they would like to hold on to.

Christianity is a religion with a history of 2000 years. They spread the message around the globe and have converted many people to the circle of Christianity. African colonies and other English colonies around the world also played a pivotal role in the spread of Christianity.

So we see how travel for centuries has played a pivotal role in learning things about life, divine powers, and faith.

History and Holy Sites

Almost, all of the faiths in the world have a few or many sites that they consider holy and important. They go there for pilgrimage or to learn about history. The followers see how an event occurred and where things happened. The stories in their religious books, texts are passed on from generation to generation and they continue to transfer the zeal for their respective holy sites.

Present Israel and its surrounding Middle Eastern countries are of immense significance to the three Abrahamic religions. Other than the Holy Land there are a few more places that followers of Christianity do go to pay their respect or show devotion for their religion.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

This church is in Jerusalem. As it is a holy land, there are many monuments, buildings, and mountains that are of significance. However, this church is said to be constructed at the biblical Calvary, or Golgotha, the place where Jesus was nailed to the cross, and later rose from the dead.

This church has a strong history of facing earthquakes, fires, takeovers, and crusades. However, the history of this place and the excavation of the three crosses make this place of immense importance for an ardent Christian.

This church has five stations with each having a history. As per the narration the following happened

  • 10th station – Jesus was stripped of his garments
  • 11th station -Jesus was said to be nailed to the cross
  • 12th  Station – The supposed site of his death also called Rock of Calvary
  • 13th station – Place where Jesus’s body is said to have been taken down.
  • 14th station -The Tomb of the Holy Sepulchre.

Bethlehem

This is said to be the birthplace of Jesus. Each year during Christmas holidays devoted Christians flow down here to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Jericho

This is another site on the West Bank. Here the followers visit the mount of Temptation  –  it is said to be the place where Jesus fasted after being baptized by John the Baptist.

Al-Maghtas

This is said to be the place where Jesus was baptized, Al-Maghtas is situated in Jordan. While many people chose to take the dip in the west bank site of Yardenit, claiming that the same Jordan River water will baptize them. This site in Jordan is now a UNESCO Heritage site as well. Thus, stamping its authenticity over others, based on biblical excerpts.

Mount Tabor

This site is of importance to both Jews and Christians. The latter faith believes that Jesus’s transfiguration occurred here while he spoke with Moses and Elijah. This site draws pilgrims from the world.

Vatican City

The divide of Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox churches has made a difference in the followers. However, Vatican City is a wonder of architectural beauty, systematic and modern technology, and the house of Pope. Catholics all over the world visit the city while following rules of sober dressing and visit the important churches here.

Saints and their sites

Many sites are associated with the apostles and saints. Most of them in the holy land and its neighbors and a few found in Turkey. Devoted Christians visit whichever place their passport and visa allow so they can pay their respect to them.

There is a notable mention of Hagia Sophia in Turkey for Christians as well. As it was a historical church with many important decisions being made there for many rulers as well.

Protestant and Orthodox Christians also pay their homage and respect by visiting their churches notably in Greece, Spain, and Russia.

Eventually, in the end, it is about finding peace and contentment from the journey. Therefore, travel for religious reasons is also therapeutic and works well for people.

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