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31 December 2018
Thank you for 2018!

The editor-in-chief of the site Pavel Viktorovich Platonov tells about the results of the year

Thank you for 2018!
The editor-in-chief of the site Pavel Viktorovich Platonov tells about the results of the year

According to the established tradition, on the eve of the New Year, we are summing up the activities of the Orthodox pilgrimage center "Russia in Colors" in Jerusalem and our portals "Russia in Colors", "Orthodox pilgrim in the Holy Land", and the IOPS Jerusalem Branch in the outgoing year.

In 2018, work was successfully continued with pilgrims and tourists coming from different parts of Russia, the CIS countries and abroad to the Holy Land. We take both organized groups of pilgrims and tourists as part of 8-day and 11-day pilgrimage tours, and we conduct individual excursions from Jerusalem along 34 routes in different directions, visiting holy places and tourist attractions from Upper Galilee to Eilat.

At the end of 2017, our pilgrim center for mini groups of up to 6 people who wanted to make individual excursions purchased an excursion minivan of enhanced comfort. For large pilgrims and tourist groups, we purchased a set of radio headphones for a better perception of the guide's story by tourists. Professional audio equipment allows you to hear the guide at a distance of 90 meters.

Thus, the technical equipment of the Russia in Colors pilgrimage center corresponds to the modern level. The quality of excursion service is also high, thanks to the fact that only certified guides working in our center are licensed by the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

The film By the Gospel Places in the Holy Land, shot by our pilgrim center and available from 2018 on our YouTube channel, will help to make a virtual trip to the holy places. The film consists of two parts, and it is useful to watch it before you come to the real pilgrimage to the Holy Land with our Orthodox pilgrimage center "Russia in Colors" in Jerusalem, or after the pilgrimage, to once again remember the places where the Savior of the World went. Films are of genuine interest to viewers interested in the history of the Holy Land.

The first film, released in 2007, was devoted to the city of Jerusalem and geographically covered the Old City, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives. The second film, completed in December of the outgoing year, takes viewers to Galilee, the monasteries of the Judean desert and Bethlehem.

The creative team decided to provide the full version of the 1st and 2nd film in free access on the channel of the Orthodox pilgrimage center Russia in colors in YouTube, on the portals Russia in colors and Orthodox pilgrim in the Holy Land.

In 2018, my continued cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism of the State of Israel continued; we conducted several field classes in Hebrew as part of advanced training courses for professional guides licensed by the Ministry. This work will continue in 2019. The schedule of classes for refresher courses for certified guides can be seen in a brochure published on the official portal of the Ministry of Tourism of the State of Israel. Themes of studies - Russian spiritual, cultural and political presence in the Holy Land - always evoke sincere interest among Hebrew-speaking and Russian-speaking certified guides. Many of them remain in constant contact with me, ask questions, clarify historical dates, etc.

2018 was a record year for the number of tourists and pilgrims who arrived in Israel. For the first time in the history of the state of Israel, the number of tourists exceeded 4 million people a year. The first place in the number of arrivals is occupied by citizens of the United States, more than 800 thousand people, tourists from France moved to the second place unexpected, more than 320 thousand people a year. The CIS countries, including all the former republics of the Soviet Union, barely approached 300 thousand, which is almost 2 times less than in 2014. This is due to the difficult socio-economic situation in the republics of the former USSR. Therefore, the Ministry of Tourism of Israel attracts tourists from China, India, Latin America, Europe. Thus, the flow to the Holy Land does not stop. The spiritual center of the world is always of interest, and it pleases.

We contribute to the development of pilgrimage by continuing to conduct outreach work, including on our sites.

Sites work in their permanent concept, adding new materials.

The site Orthodox pilgrim in the Holy Land is dedicated to the history of pilgrimage and evangelical holy sites. The component of relations between Russia and the Holy Land is also reflected on the website of the Jerusalem branch of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, which also actively publishes news on pilgrimages, tourism and archaeological finds in the Holy Land.

In addition to those related to the history of the Russian presence in the Holy Land, the Russia in Colors portal covers the topics of interaction of Russian culture with cultures from different countries of the world. The year 2018 revealed to us a series of diverse events that were covered in the articles of our volunteer authors who delight us with interesting materials. Among them: Vladimir Kruzhkov (Russia), Andrei Dadeka (Russia), Pavel Gusterin (Russia), Irina Akhundova (Russia), Ksenia and Nikita Krivosheiny (France), Oksana Babenko (Russia), Galina Besstremiannaya (Russia), etc.

We thank all the authors for the submitted articles.
In the New Year of 2019, with the support of our friends, we will try to make our portals equally in demand and invite new correspondents for cooperation.

I would especially like to note that we are trying to publish reliable information, and not fake news, like some websites and media outlets that made a sensation in the outgoing year on the Internet that Christmas was allegedly canceled in Nazareth and Bethlehem due to the transfer of American Embassy in Jerusalem. Thus, someone pursued his far from spiritual goals, inventing "events", which in reality do not exist. The Holy Land, decorated for Christmas with lights, holiday trees, Christmas nurseries, remains the place where Jesus Christ the Savior of the world was born, and no info-noise can steal Christmas in the Holy Land. Here we see pilgrims and tourists from all over the world, who these days with a special sense of grace strive to visit the place of the Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem, the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the true place of baptism on the holy Jordan River, Nazareth - the city of the Annunciation, Holy Mount Tabor, the sea Galilee and other important and significant shrines with which the Holy Land is so rich.

Let the light of the Star of Bethlehem touch your hearts as well, giving everyone new hopes, new plans, new achievements in the coming year!

Always yours,

chief editor of the sites "Russia in colors" and "Orthodox pilgrim in the Holy Land",

Head of the Orthodox pilgrimage center "Russia in Colors" in Jerusalem,

Chairman of the Orthodox Scientific and Educational Society "Russia in Colors",

Chairman of the Jerusalem branch of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society,

Pavel Viktorovich Platonov

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