Rev. Mathias Echioda, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Niger Chapter, has urged Christians to make pilgrimage a priority and save toward it for its obvious religious importance.
Echioda made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Minna on Monday.
He said that the call became very necessary as a result of the low number of intending pilgrims.
He said he was not impressed with the 207 intending pilgrims from the state in 2019.
“I expected a build-up over time but this is not forthcoming.
“Christians should strive to put in personal efforts to visit the holy land, because it is expected of us as much as we can afford it to pay a visit to the historic city for many spiritual reasons.
“A visit to the holy land makes the Bible come real. Whatever we have heard by preaching or teaching can now be seen real.
“We should avail ourselves to be part of it because the environment brings it to the fore,’’ Echioda said.
According to him, pilgrimage encourages faith; it makes faith stronger when it is matched with what is seen.
He, however, urged Christians not to see sponsorship as a right from government, organisations or from individuals but rather strive to pay the price by saving for it.
“Pilgrimage is a personal thing in the actual sense and I expect every Christian to save for it.
“However, affluent individuals should consider helping the less privileged in actualising the dream in their lifetime,” the CAN chairman said.
Echioda advised Christians to be financially disciplined and prudent, urging them to work toward saving for the trip.
He commended the Christian Department of the Pilgrims Commission for educating and enlightening prospective pilgrims on acceptable behaviour in the holy land.