The next batch of Christian pilgrimage will be observed in Rome and Greece, excluding Israel, Jordan and some parts of the middle-east due to the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Acting Director of FCT Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Rahila Isa-Baita made the disclosure at the commencement of the screening of intending pilgrims for the 2024 main pilgrimage at the board’s office in Abuja.
Mrs Isa-Baita who said, the pilgrimage exercise will last for eight days and nine nights explained that the pilgrims this time around will be using the Shengen Visa to travel.
The Acting Director of the board said the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) under the leadership of Reverend Yakubu Pam and the council of states decided to initiate the special pilgrimage plan to ensure a continuity of the exercise despite the ongoing crisis between the Israelis and Palestinians which had lasted for over a hundred days.
“In Rome, the pilgrims will walk the streets walked by the Apostle and visit the colosseum where the martyrs testified which would leave a lasting spiritual impact in their lives of the pilgrims”, she said.
The Minister of State for the FCT, Mariya Bunkure who was represented by her Special Assistant on Social Development, Helen Zamani who was also screened for the next batch of pilgrimage declared the screening exercise opened and cautioned the intending pilgrims on absconding while observing the pilgrimage.
One of the medical personnel screening the potential pilgrims, Dr Omokide Moshood said the individuals were been screened for diabetes and hypertension, and individuals with complications of diabetes and hypertension who stood a high risk of flying would be screened out.
One of the intending pilgrim, Dr Clifford Zira, who said he had visited Jerusalem in 2006, said as a Bible student, the exercise help him to put picture to significant places mentioned in the Bible and since then, he longed for another experience.
For Phoebe ElIsha who would be a first timer for the spiritual exercise, she expressed sadness that she would not be able to see Jerusalem, Jordan and other places excluded due to the ongoing conflict.
Christian pilgrimage is an opportunity many Christians long for as it rekindles the flames of beliefs in adherents.