religious pilgrims

17 Stories

37 Hindu Pilgrims Run Over, Killed by Train

In retaliation, mob beats up driver, sets fire to train

(Newser) - A train ran over a group of Hindu pilgrims at a crowded station in eastern India today, killing at least 37 people. A mob infuriated by the deaths beat the driver severely and set fire to coaches, officials say. Dinesh Chandra Yadav, a local member of parliament, says the pilgrims... More »

Vatican: This Is Not an Exorcism

Exorcists insist pontiff cast out man's demons

(Newser) - Pope Francis was merely praying in a video that some claim shows him performing an exorcism on a Mexican pilgrim, the Vatican says. In the video—broadcast on a TV station owned by the Italian Bishops' Conference—the man convulses and then goes limp after the stern-faced pontiff places his... More »

In Beirut, Benedict Pleads for Syria Peace

'I appeal to you all to be peacemakers,' pontiff tells restive region

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI made a sweeping appeal today for peace in Syria and the Middle East, decrying the violence "which generates so much suffering." Speaking at an open-air Mass before a huge crowd in Beirut, he urged the international community and Arab countries in particular to find a... More »

Bombs Across Iraq Kill 63 Pilgrims

Attacks target Shiite pilgrims headed to Baghdad site

(Newser) - A series of coordinated car bombs went off in at least five Iraqi cities today, killing 63 people in one of the deadliest attacks since US forces left the country. The blasts appeared to be the third attack this week targeting Shiite pilgrims en route to the Baghdad neighborhood of... More »

Suicide Bomber Kills 25 Pilgrims in Iraq

At least 24 more injured at holy site in Samarra

(Newser) - Iraqi police say a suicide bomber struck Shiite pilgrims near a shrine north of Baghdad that has been a flashpoint in sectarian strife, killing at least 25 people. Authorities say the bomber blew himself up this afternoon in a crowd of pilgrims just 200 yards outside the al-Askari mosque. A... More »

Record Crowds Throng Bethlehem

Most pilgrims in a decade come to mark Jesus' birth

(Newser) - The largest number of pilgrims in a decade gathered in Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas, with tens of thousands flocking to the Church of the Nativity for prayers this morning. Israeli military officials, who coordinate movement in and out of the West Bank, said more than 100,000 pilgrims have come... More »

Bomb Threat Clears Lourdes

Hoax strikes on Feast of the Assumption

(Newser) - Some 30,000 Catholic pilgrims, many of them disabled or ailing, had to flee the Lourdes pilgrimage site in France yesterday because of a bomb scare on the Feast of the Assumption, one of the site's busiest days of the year. A phone call to police warning that four bombs... More »

Jordan Too Polluted for Baptisms

Environmentalists say it's been horribly mismanaged

(Newser) - It’s the patch of water where, legend has it, John the Baptist washed Jesus clean. And these days, it’s filthy. Thanks to “severe mismanagement,” the Jordan River is now too polluted for baptisms, an environmentalist group declared this week. Though the Israeli health ministry says the... More »

Deadly Bomb Targets Iranian Pilgrims in Syria

At least 6 killed when pilgrim bus explodes

(Newser) - A powerful bomb tore through a bus packed with Iranian pilgrims in Syria today, killing at least six and injuring dozens. Body parts were strewn around the bus near the Sayyeda Zainab area in Damascus, witnesses reported. The pilgrims were on their way to a Shiite religious shrine. The attack... More »

Religious Tourists Still Flocking to Italy

Easter likely to see 100,000 in St. Peter's Square

(Newser) - While industries around the world feel the weight of recession, Italy’s religious tourism appears fairly immune, USA Today reports. “It's one of the only areas where things haven't slowed down much," said a religious tour marketer. "Religious pilgrims still want to have the same experiences”—... More »

Suicide Bomber Kills 35 in Iraq

Women, children targeted en route Shia to holy city

(Newser) - A female suicide bomber killed at least 35 Iraqi pilgrims on the way to a religious festival today, reports CNN. Another 45 were wounded. The victims, mainly women and children, were in the town of Mussayib, about 40 miles south of Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of Shia pilgrims are currently... More »

Iraq Women Banned at Shrine to Thwart Female Bombers

Security forces can't search women

(Newser) - In a bid to ward off female bombers, officials have banned women from a Shia shrine during one of the holiest times of the year, reports the BBC. Because Iraq security forces lack female members, women cannot be searched for bombs. Women are now banned at the Imam Mousa al-Kazim... More »

177 Killed in India Temple Stampede

Cause of crush still unknown, police blame slippery slope

(Newser) - A stampede killed at least 177 worshipers at a Hindu temple in western India today, the Times of London reports. Early theories for the crush included a bomb scare and a broken barricade, but police are blaming the steep, slippery path that leads to the temple. Similar stampedes have killed... More »

Gay Tourism 'Tricky' for Israel

Nation welcomes economic boost, but not liberal culture

(Newser) - Two men kissing near the Mount of Olives isn’t what religious pilgrims expect in Jerusalem, and the boom in gay tourism is making some uneasy, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Thousands of gay travelers—drawn to the beaches, nightlife, and trendy Tel Aviv—have visited Israel this year, spending... More »

Sri Lanka Bus Bomb Kills 20

Bus was packed with Buddhist pilgrims; authorities blame Tamil Tigers

(Newser) - A bomb suspected to be the work of Tamil Tiger rebels detonated on a crowded bus in Sri Lanka today, killing at least 20 and leaving more than 60 seriously burned or otherwise injured. The parcel bomb ripped through a private bus carrying Buddhist pilgrims that had stopped at a... More »

Egypt, Israel Keep Pilgrims Stranded at Sea

Israel may nab Hamas members on board; conditions worsening

(Newser) - More than 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims are stuck floating in the Red Sea today, barred from returning to Gaza through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing. Egypt demands that they reenter through an Israeli checkpoint, but Hamas fears that members on board will be arrested. Israel has claimed that the militants... More »

Nepal Bridge Fails; 200 Missing

15 bodies recovered after suspension span collapses

(Newser) - Nepalese rescuers were searching into the night for about 200 people who plummeted into a swirling river when a suspension bridge collapsed. Another 15 bodies have been recovered, and 32 were taken to nearby hospitals. Up to 1,000 Hindu pilgrims were on the bridge when it failed in a... More »

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