Sweden to Jerusalem, on foot

Pilgrim walks 5,000-km to raise awareness against xenophobia and to promote peace.

These boots were made for walkin’…

A brother of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem is days away from completing a five month, 5,000 kilometer pilgrimage from Lund in Sweden on foot to Jerusalem. Jӧrgen Nilsson, 39, is scheduled to arrive at the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday, April 21, 2013.

Nilsson set out on his Pilgrimage for Peace on November 18, 2012. He walked through Denmark, Germany, France, Italy and Greece, before arriving in Haifa on April 11.

His multi-purpose mission was to raise money for charities, increase awareness against xenophobia, and to highlight the need for peace.

He chose to walk to Jerusalem for its symbolism.

“Firstly, the ancient and holy city has always been a focal point of both conflict and peace. It is a symbol for the efforts needed to obtain a more peaceful world. Secondly, I am a Brother of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. Last year the order moved back and restored its magisterial seat in Jerusalem after several hundreds of years in exile in France. I decided to make a part of this pilgrimage a celebration of this great milestone in the order’s history,” he said.

The last leg of his pilgrimage includes overnight stops in Netanya, Raanana, Tel Aviv, Ramle, Harel and Ramat Raziel.

Nilsson will be a guest of honor at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of First International Jerusalem Symposium on Green and Accessible Pilgrimage on April 21. He will also speak about his spiritual journey to the Holy Land in a round table session entitled “Positive Footprints” at the event.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.