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Why do Christians go on pilgrimages?

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Quick Answer

Christians go on pilgrimages to visit places that are important to their faith and beliefs. These places could be the grave of a saint, somewhere Jesus visited or that was written about in the Bible. Other possible pilgrimage sites include places where miracles are said to have occurred.

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Full Answer

Two of the most visited Christian pilgrimage sites are in the Holy Lands in present day Israel and Palestine. Many Christian pilgrims visit the town of Bethlehem during Christmas, as this is where they believe Jesus was born. Similarly, many Christians also make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate the Easter holiday, as this is where Jesus was said to have died and been resurrected.

St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is another one of the most visited Christian pilgrimage sites. The church is named after St. Peter, one of the first disciples of Jesus, who was said to have been martyred and buried at this site.

Many of the most famous Christian pilgrimage sites are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including several sites along the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trails. The journey to Santiago de Compostela is one of the most important pilgrimages in Europe, consisting of numerous routes that all lead to the tomb of the Apostle St. James of Compostela.

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