Religious Travel

Religious Travel

kaaba Mecca Religious Travel

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

– Henry Miller

From mission trips to pilgrimages to holy places, religious travel or faith tourism brings millions of people to places, attractions, retreats and conventions for the faith-based traveler.  While many attractions in the Middle East and Asia appeal to millions of people the world over, nearly every country and community has a religious history to share—from historical figures to places of worship that have broad appeal to travelers.

People have their own reasons to travel. Some travel to explore the world or nature while some travel to follow their faith or religion. Religious Travel is done may be because its a part of their age old customs and traditions or just to find some peace in God’s Home.

  • An ancient wonder of the world, Stonehenge is a classic example of Neolithic engineering and one of the best-preserved monuments of its kind in Europe.

  • For Muslims around the world, and Sumatra in particular, Ramadan is a special time. It’s a holy month of fasting, introspection, and praying.

  • A half hour’s drive north of Pittsburgh, the tiny Western Pennsylvania town of Harmony, with a population of fewer than 1,000 people, has an unusual history that makes for a fascinating visit.

  • Covid Report from Rome and Vatican

    For the Vatican and the City of Rome, Holy Week has been strikingly different this year. The bustling crowds that usually fill St. Peter’s Square have been absent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, despite the absence of visitors, the Pope will still celebrate all Holy Week services, albeit without an audience. While the Vatican’s offices remain open, strict social distancing measures are in place, even as confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported. Voice of America reporter Sabina Castelfranco has been on the ground, covering the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Italy and the Vatican. Joining us from Rome, Sabina provides exclusive insights into the current situation. In this report, Sabina explains why Italy became the first European country severely affected by COVID-19 and how the virus spread so rapidly. She also sheds light on the measures being taken to protect Pope Francis after members of the Vatican tested [...]

  • Entrance wall to the City of David in Jerusalem, Israel.  Photo:  Tonya Fitzpatrick World Footprints will explore Biblical history at the City of David, Namibia's political, economic and natural landscape and small town treasures that offer a taste of Sicily and more. According to Hebrew tradition, the area outside of the Old City Walls of Jerusalem is considered to be the center of the world.  World Footprints will explore that theory and Biblical history with Zev Orenstein at the City of David.  We'll also examine new archaeology discoveries that support the existence of King David. Namibian desert.  Photo:  Ian Fitzpatrick Namibia is a country is great diversity.  The country is home to wildlife that can't be found anywhere else in Africa and it vast desert landscapes.  While at the Mount Etjo Safari Lodge, we break bread with Eric Reindhart of Nambia Tracks and Trails to learn more about the country [...]

  • When planning a trip to Asia, not many people consider Taiwan as part of their itinerary. But this small island off the coast of China has a lot going for it, in particular, the capital city Taipei. For a relatively small capital city – it has a population of just over 2.5 million – you can pack a lot into a trip here. Here are five reasons why you should book that flight to Taipei.

  • The Catholic Church in 1517 had developed a most excellent fund-raising scheme. Sinners were permitted to purchase "indulgences" to buy their way out of Purgatory. The Pope used the funds to purchase lands and for the the renovation of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and Catholics were told that they had, in essence, purchased a "free pass" into heaven. Martin Luther, a Catholic scholar and priest, was unhappy with the practice of selling indulgences. Incensed, he wrote a long argument against the practice called Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The population quickly spread the news and the Ninety-Five Theses found great acceptance, sparking the theological debate that eventually led to Martin Luther's break with the Catholic Church and the formation of the Protestant movement. On October 31, 1517, [...]

  • Simona de Silvestro driving in the Baltimore Grand Prix.  Photo:  Tonya Fitzpatrick On today’s show World Footprints explores the plight of the endangered Panther, we chat with one of the rising IZOD Indycar stars Simona de Silvestro, and we also view Catholicism through the lens with Father Robert Barron.  As a special bonus, we added some sound bytes and interviews from the DC Stop Modern Slavery walk to end human trafficking. Panthers once roamed the entire southeastern United States; from Florida to South Carolina and Louisiana.  However, the panther was added to the Endangered Species List in 1967 and today the remaining population is isolated in South Florida.  The Panther population has dramatically decreased but many efforts are being made to save this beautiful animal from extinction.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is at the forefront of the Panther conservation efforts and Park Ranger Sandy Mickey from the Florida [...]

  • World Footprints returned to New Orleans for our 7th annual French Quarter Festival (FQF) 2-hour broadcast.  This year we set up at Tableau Restaurant, Dickie Brennan's newest culinary gem in Jackson Square.  This second hour of our FQF broadcast explores the unique history of New Orleans with two prominent professors from the University of New Orleans.    The diverse heritages of the people of New Orleans makes this city very unique, interesting and alive with traditions that are not found in any other city in the country.  New Orleans is a place where Africans intermingled with Native Americans and european settlers ultimately creating a sustainable culture that distinguishes New Orleans today.   Dr. Mary Mitchell, History Professor at UNO, joins us to discuss the African contributions to the city and the dynamics that slavery played in the development and culture of this city.   Most people don’t equate compassion and beauty when they think of Voodoo, [...]

  • The Caucasus has been attracting an increasing number of travelers recently, and Armenia is one of the major region draws. Local tourist traffic is expected to boom as the region’s heritage and cultural and natural riches are so overwhelming.

  • Looking for a travel experience that’s religious-based? Each year in January or February, over 1.6 million devotees and visitors make their way to Malaysia’s most popular Hindu shrine at the Batu Caves, to join in celebration for their religious holiday Thaipusam. The shrine is dedicated to Murugan, the God of War, and the exciting festival is the largest gathering in multi-racial Malaysia. The climb up to the Batu Caves is a hard one, with 272 steps. However, thousands of worshippers, locals, and tourists gladly take the trek which is filled with dancing and fabulous color, in order to reach the “Cathedral Cave.” The cave is teeming with lavish Hindu shrines, and is over 300-feet above ground. This gathering is just outside the Malaysian city of Kuala Lumpur, with Murugan as its focal point. The story behind the festival’s start is an intriguing one, and like many god-related tales, is one [...]

  • Among the great architectural miracles of Spain, one place breathes exuberance and style, representing one of the most beautiful structures made by man. The palace of Alhambra is one of the most popular tourists destinations in Spain, with millions of visitors each year. The historical palace and fortress of Alhambra are located in the province of Granada in Andalusia, a charming region of southern Spain. The complex, listed in the UNESCO World Heritage, is a unique example of the medieval Muslim Spain and Moorish rule over southern Spain. The name derives from the Arab term of Red Castle, because of the red walls of the complex, contrasting with the green forests that surround it. Situated near the city of Granada in a strategic point, overlooking the city and the surrounding area, the fortress complex will truly amaze any art and architecture lover, with some exquisite interior design masterpieces that cannot [...]