“THE UNEXPECTED RELIGIOUS SIDE OF AN ATHEIST COUNTRY” — KERWIN (PHILIPPINES)

Although Estonia is regarded as one of the least religious countries in the world as reported in different articles, surprisingly, they still do have traditions.

Coming from a very religious Catholic country, Philippines, we do have a lot of traditions as well, even to the most extreme ones where we have some people nailed to the cross and whipping themselves but we also have simple events which is almost identical as what we have here in Tartu.

So, in the days of the Holy Week, I thought that I was going just to hear mass, and then go home and fast. My plans changed when I had heard about the Stations of the Cross.

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This happens on Good Friday, when the Christian Community here, in Tartu, gathers and visits different churches to signify the Stations of the Cross. As a Christian myself, I was really happy to know that there is such an event that we can participate during this holiday.

Our trip started at around 5 o’clock in the afternoon and finished approximately at 8 o’clock in the evening. In total, we have visited 8 churches here in town. In every church, a story about what happened in one or two stations out of 14 is told by the pastor, priest or community leader in charge of the Church.

In some of the churches, there were also music renditions by their choirs and instrumental groups.
1. Salemi Kirik
A Baptist Church, Kalevi 76.
http://www.salem.ee/

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2. Pauluse Kirik
A Lutheran Church, Riia Street.
http://tartupauluse.ee/

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3. Maarja Kirik
A Lutheran Church, Õpetaja 5.
http://tartumaarja.eelk.ee/

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4. EMK Tartu Püha Luuka kogudus
A Methodist Church, Vallikraavi 16a.
https://tartu.metodistikirik.ee/www/

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Just a little break from Church Pictures. These photos are taken while we were walking in the streets.

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5. Kolgata Kogodus
A Baptist Church, Veski 40.
http://www.kolgata.ee/

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6. Pühima Neitsi Maarja Pärispatuta Saamise Kirik Tartus
A Catholic Church, Veski 1-1A.
http://www.neitsimaarja.ee/

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7.Jaani Kirik
A Lutheran Church, near the University of Tartu main building.
http://www.jaanikirik.ee/

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8. Peetri Kirik
A Lutheran Church, Narva mnt. 104.
http://www.eelk.ee/tartu.peetri/

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Along the way, I took photos of candles out of fascination.

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The churches in Tartu are really beautiful, and each one has a website! Well, almost any establishment has a website here in Estonia. But I am still shocked and amazed. I wished we were able to visit some Orthodox churches, but since they have a different calendar they will celebrate Lent in the next days.

In the story of the Passion of Christ, there was pain and suffering. We can relate this to our daily lives. But at the end of the day, this is a story of love. A love, like in our daily lives, that is willing to sacrifice to make the people we love feel how special they are to us.

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