We are standing on a fertile hillside in northern Israel. Fernando Betancourt, an Arizona pastor, looks down at the Sea of Galilee spread before us.
“Everyone should come and have the experience,” says Betancourt, who is leading a group of 70 of his flock on Israel’s newly-marked “Gospel Trail.” “We are walking the places that Jesus walked.”
Some pilgrims simply stroll along the path. Others can choose to bike, ride on horseback, or even sail.
The 62-kilometer (38.5 mile) route traces the path that Jesus may have taken when he left his home of Nazareth for Capernaum, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Visitors can choose which sections to do, allowing for short walks, and the path is wheelchair-accessible in places.
Some 2.4 million Christians come to Israel each year — about two-thirds of all visitors — and the number is expected to increase by another 200,000 in two years, according to the Tourism Ministry, which has set up a desk for religious travel. About half of Christian vacationers are on a spiritual visit or pilgrimage.Continue Reading on www.bloomberg.com