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ARC discusses pilgrimage on the BBC's Beyond Belief programme

January 31, 2012:

The annual Maukib pilgrimage in Kano, Nigeria

Pilgrimage - faith and secular - was the subject of a BBC Radio programme broadcast this week and available listen to on the BBC website. ARC Secretary General Martin Palmer was one of three guests invited to discuss why millions of people go on pilgrimage every year.

Pilgrimage is the biggest mass migration of people on the planet. ARC estimates that 150 million people go on religious pilgrimage each year, but as the BBC Beyond Belief programme also discussed, people also go 'on pilgrimage' to secular destinations. For example, more than 600,000 visit Graceland in the United States, home of Elvis Presley.

Tourist companies specialising in pilgrimage tours are expanding - it's big business.

Launch of the Green Pilgrimage Network, Assisi, Italy, in November 2011
Presenter Ernie Rea spoke to Martin Palmer and Dr Marion Bowman, head of the Department of Religious Studies at the Open University, to discuss whether there is something in the human psyche which seeks fulfilment from a physical journey, but one that has a spiritual motive.

Martin also spoke about sustainable pilgrimage, following the launch of the Green Pilgrimage Network in Assisi, Italy, in November last year.

Also appearing on the programme was Connie Hill-Smith who is writing her doctoral thesis on cyber pilgrimage at the University of Wales, Trinity & St. David's, discussing the growing phenomenon of cyber pilgrimage. The programme asked whether a "virtual" journey in any way be seen as comparable to a physical one.

Click here to listen to a fascinating and lively programme. It will stay on the BBC website permanently.

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November 1, 2011:
PPRESS RELEASE: Green Pilgrimage Network launches
A ban on cars on pilgrimage routes; solar panels for cathedral roofs; provision of fresh clean, water for pilgrims, and the planting of thousands of trees around sacred sites - these are just some of the initiatives which the founder members of the Green Pilgrimage Network today pledged to implement.
Green pilgrimage network (GPN)
The vision is of pilgrims on all continents and the pilgrim cities that receive them, leaving a positive footprint on the Earth
January 31, 2012:
ARC discusses pilgrimage on the BBC's Beyond Belief programme
Pilgrimage - faith and secular - was the subject of a BBC Radio programme broadcast this week and available listen to on the BBC website. ARC Secretary General Martin Palmer was one of three guests invited to discuss why millions of people go on pilgrimage every year.