Addressing the imbalance of pilgrimage

CAPAD Meets with National Pilgrimage Board in Nigeria to Address Pilgrimage Practices to the Holy Land

Nigerian network and Karibu partner Churches in Action for Peace and Development (CAPAD) meets with the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) in Abuja in order to call for greater scrutiny of national pilgrimage practices of Nigerians to the Holy Land.   Between 50,000-70,000 Nigerians travel to the Holy Land each year on state-sponsored pilgrimage, yet little to no emphasis is placed on the "living stones" or justice in the region.   The full story can be found below.

Photo:  Archbishop Michael Kehinde Steven of CAPAD (left) meets with Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Mr. John Kennedy Opara (right), in Abuja on April 18th, 2013. -- photo courtesy of

By Kolade Fadahunsi, CAPAD

On April 18th, representatives of Churches in Action for Peace & Development (CAPAD) met with the leadership of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Board (a commission of the Nigerian Presidency) in order to discuss efforts of changing policies on pilgrimage to the Holy Land of Palestine and Israel from Nigeria.  

The consultation which was attended by His Grace Most Rev. Michael Kehinde Stephen, Archbishop of Ibadan, Methodist Church Nigeria (Executive Secretary of CAPAD), Rev. Eilert Lund Rostrup, (Director of the Karibu Foundation Norway), Very Rev. Opeyemi Awe, (Programme officer CAPAD, Youth and Entrepreneurship), and Rev. Kolade Fadahunsi (Programme Officer, CAPAD). From the Nigerian Presidency’s side, His Excellency John Kenedy (Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Board) led a team of Directors, protocol officers and the Media to the meeting.

Archbishop Michael Stephen reiterated the necessity of a change in the way and pattern of pilgrimage from Nigeria to the Holy land, in order for it to put into consideration the issue of Peace and Justice in the Holy Land.  He also expressed the need to prioritise a visit to the LIVING STONES of the region as an imperative.

In his response, the Executive Secretary affirmed that the Pilgrimage being conducted by his commission is not Tourism, but an exercise rich in spiritual mission.   He expressed that any day that commission deviated from this vision, he would not hesitate to resign his appointment. He also said that the commission has been promoting relationship with Bethlehem in their situation as Palestinian Christian.

He also stressed the need for Nigerian Pilgrims to always find time to meet with Christians in the entire Palestine area. He encourages CAPAD to continue sensitizing NCPC and Churches in Nigeria to promote peace in the Holy land.

A pre visit to the Holy land of Israel/Palestine that will involve the National Board and the entire 36 Chairmen of the commission across Nigeria is planned for May 2013.

Posted by Karibu Foundation - Last updated 24.04.2013