Friday, December 28, 2007

Thousands flock to pilgrimage in Geneva

Up to 40,000 Christians were due to arrive in Geneva in Switzerland Friday for an international pilgrimage organized by the Taize religious community and Swiss churches.

The Taize community, based in Burgundy in France, has invited followers from all over the world to its 30th European Meeting of Young Adults.

They are to take part in the Taizé community's Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth involving five days of events including singing and prayers. The gathering has received good will messages from the Pope and the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.

The Pope said: "May your trust in God foster hope in you and help you to change the world by rooting you in Gospel values."

Ban said it was an opportunity to overcome intolerance and religious prejudice. "Let me express my hope that your pilgrimage will help foster harmony and understanding, and thereby advance our wider efforts for a peaceful and prosperous world," he said in a statement.

The 100-strong Taize community was founded in the town of the same name in 1940 by Brother Roger.

The brothers, from Catholic and Protestant backgrounds, are committed to simplicity and celibacy.

They live from their own work, refusing all donations and gifts.
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