A pilgrimage organised by the programme of the Youth Council of the Estonian Council of Churches was held from 7 to 9 September at the picturesque island of Kihnu on Estonia’s Baltic coast. Around 80 pilgrims included young people as well as church leaders from Lutheran, Orthodox, Catholic, Baptist and Methodist churches active in the country.
They walked 20 kilometres through beautiful villages, meadows, woods and beaches, enjoying fellowship and the hospitality of the local people, and joining in the common prayer.
The pilgrimage had a particular Orthodox characteristic resonating with the religious background of the people of the Kihnu island.
Metropolitan Stefanus, primate of the Orthodox Church of Estonia, spoke at the Sunday Liturgy reflecting on John 3:13,17. He said to the pilgrims, “Where is the ladder on which to reach the heavens, where the Son of Man has come down? It is in our own hearts, and we will discover it when we turn to Christ in love and without pride, to Him who is in heaven, and not towards ourselves. This is true for all of us, and we experience it in a special way on such enriching days of pilgrimage.”
The first pilgrimage of this nature was organised in 2015 as part of the European climate pilgrimages to the COP21 summit in Paris. These pilgrimages were coordinated by CEC, and the one in Estonia was part of a joint project of the Estonian, Hungarian and Finnish National Councils of Churches. Since then, the pilgrimage has continued to be held every year exploring different parts of Estonia.