Visiting the Holy Land on pilgrimage is a profound and unforgettable experience. It transforms the way we read the Bible and allows us to connect to our faith in a way that cannot be replicated anywhere else. Whether visiting the birthplace of Christ in Bethlehem, dipping your hand into the Jordan River at the Baptism Site, or following the footsteps of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, ICoHS encourages pilgrimage for all who are able.
Experience the Holy Land
Too often, pilgrims travel thousands of miles to be in the Holy Land and fail to engage with the Churches that have been welcoming pilgrims and maintaining these sites for nearly 2,000 years. ICoHS is actively developing a pilgrimage programme that directly benefits Christians in a number of ways:
Visiting churches: Whether visiting the grandeur of the Holy Sepulchre or churches off the beaten path in Galilee, stepping into a church help us understand how our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land worship and welcome pilgrims.
Hearing their story: We have much to learn from Christians in the Holy Land. As descendants of the earliest Christian communities formed by the disciples, Christians are a vibrant minority in the region. Engaging people is a powerful tool to understand the history of our faith and the region more broadly.
Understanding the context: The voices of Christians often get overlooked in the regional conflict, but the Churches play a vital role in the peace-building process. Listening to Christians and their church leaders illuminate the ways in which Christians in the Holy Land live out the peace of Christ by welcoming everyone.
Mobilise your Community
ICoHS wants pilgrims to leave pilgrimage spiritually nourished, but we also hope pilgrims will return home with a greater understanding of the complexities of the region. Living with difference is important in so many societies, and those challenges are amplified in Jerusalem.
Economic: Churches welcome millions of pilgrims to the Holy Land every year, maintaining and facilitating scores of sites often without asking for donations. We encourage visitors and pilgrims to give generously to the ministries of the Churches in the Holy Land.
More than physical resources, we also warmly encourage our community to pray for Christians in the Holy Land. If your faith community or small group organises a prayer service, or if you would like to distribute information to your faith community about ICoHS, please let us know how we can be supportive.
The world’s gaze has been upon Jerusalem for centuries. As the spiritual capital of the world, it has attracted a great diversity of Christians throughout time. Today, we celebrate the cooperation and companionship of the various denominations in the Holy Land, manifested in the activity of the Council of Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem and Council of Church Leaders in Jordan. Yet, ICoHS understands that the universal church is much broader than the Old City of Jerusalem.
A major goal of ICoHS is to connect the Churches in Jerusalem with their sisters and brothers around the globe, particularly those in Western Europe and North America. By building bridges between different faith communities, churches can begin tap into each other’s wisdom, histories, and practices that create the vibrant and diverse Christianity united by a shared belief in Christ.
This is more than dialogue – it is joining hand in hand with one another. While this will certainly help us all understand what it means to be a part of the universal church, it also prompts opportunities for pilgrimage, education, and ministry partnerships. At a time when the population of Christians in the Holy Land is under 2% and declining, it is vital that the global church seeks out opportunities to support and enrich the presence and ministries of the Churches in the Holy Land.
If you’d like more information from ICoHS about visiting the Holy Land on pilgrimage, feel free to contact us: