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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Crowds of Orthodox Christians flock to holy site in Poland amid pandemic

20.08.2020 06:15
Several thousand Orthodox Christians have attended ceremonies at a holy site in the east of Poland to mark the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo:
Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko

Many pilgrims arrived from the country’s northeastern regions, which are the heartland of the Polish Orthodox Church.

The Holy Mount of Grabarka, near the town of Siemiatycze, is a sacred place for Polish Orthodox Christians.

The slopes of the hill are dotted with thousands of votive crosses, which have been placed by pilgrims down the years.

Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko

The tradition of pilgrimages to Grabarka dates back to the early 18th century.

While this year’s events were scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, up to 4,000 worshipers had arrived at the site by Wednesday afternoon, according to police estimates cited by Poland’s PAP news agency.

Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko

According to the Orthodox Church, there are up to 500,000 Orthodox Christians in Poland.

In the last national census, however, 156,000 people declared themselves to be Orthodox Christians, the PAP news agency reported.

The Orthodox Feast of the Transfiguration was celebrated on the Holy Mount of Grabarka on August 18 and 19.

(gs-mk)

Source: PAP