Bringing the Text to Life
Here’s a question pulled from the category of “stray facts you never wanted to know”: Worldwide, about how many Christians make a religious pilgrimage each year? Five million, 50 million or 150 million?
The answer is 150 million, which is about 7 percent of the world’s Christians.
If, now that you know the number, your next thought is “Who cares?” then it’s probably because you’re a Protestant Christian, and in general, Protestant churches have not encouraged the visitation of religious sites as an act of faith quite as much as some other Christian groups have.
But that’s not to say we don’t journey to religiously significant sites; we simply call them “travel opportunities” or “vacations.”
Usually, Protestants don’t head for places like Lourdes in France or Medjugorje, in Bosnia — both sites where the Virgin Mary is said to have made an appearance. Those are destinations popular with Roman...