Nigerian Pastor Mathew Obaze, a pilgrim in Israel, has decried the commercialisation of the annual Christian pilgrimage by the Israeli authorities.
Obaze, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jerusalem, said that the main purpose of embarking on the pilgrimage was for spiritual regeneration.
He, however, regretted that a lot of commercial activities brought into the exercise were eroding its spiritual purpose, adding that the commercialisation of the pilgrimage by the Israeli authorities was a distraction to the pilgrims.
‘’The Israelis, I want to think that they are taking advantage of people coming into their country.
‘’While we are here for spiritual assignment, they (Israelis) are seeing it from a tourist perspective; so they are commercialising the whole activities.
‘’And the tour guides, as they are leading the people, their activities are directed toward commercial activities which is affecting the spiritual benefit the people would have had.
‘’That is on the part of the Israelis; on the part of we the Nigerians, we are being carried away by the things we see; the state of development; things that we don’t have in our country.
‘’It’s like a kind of distraction; we are not being properly guided towards the spiritual responsibility we are coming here for. ‘’
The pastor, however, advised the Nigerian pilgrims to bring their experiences in the holy land to bear positively on how to make Nigeria a better place to live. (NAN)