Catholic pilgrims celebrate in Aglona

Thousands of members of the Roman Catholic church have gathered in Aglona, eastern Latvia, for an important annual pilgrimage.

Some made their way to the shrine in the traditional manner by foot, with others opting to use more modern forms of transport.

August 15 brings events to a climax with a holy mass and several top officials including President Rinkēvičs due to attend.

Christianity was brought to Livonia by German crusaders in the 13th century, who forcibly converted the local tribes over subsequent centuries. Modern Latvia is a secular state which guarantees freedom of worship.

According to the most recent data from the Central Statistics Office for 2021, among Latvia's nearly 1.9 million population, Roman Catholicism is the second most popular Christian denomination in the country with 268,000 adherents (Lutheranism has 297,000 adherents and Orthodoxy 133,000 adherents). 

Read more about Aglona and the pilgrimage tradition at the official Latvia travel website and more about other tourism opportunities in the Aglona area is available at a dedicated website.

LTV is broadcasting live pictures from Aglona (below).

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