The pilgrimage to the Holy Land of nine members of the German Bishops Conference (DBK) and nine of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) is starting on Sunday, October 16. This first joint journey of the two Churches will take place just before the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reform in 2017. Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Sea of Galilee will be the main stages of the pilgrimage. Religious meetings are scheduled, as well as meetings with political personalities and the visit to the Holocaust memorial. The main purpose of the pilgrimage is “to create a lasting and arranged prelude to the relations between the two Churches of Christ, through solidarity expressed by faith”. President of DBK Cardinal Reinhard Marx (Munich and Freising), Archbishop Ludwig Schick (Bamberg), Archbishop emeritus of Freiburg Robert Zollitsch, and bishops of Trier (Stephan Ackermann), Osnabrück (Franz-Josef Bode), Magdeburg (Gerhard Feige), Essen (Franz-Josef Overbeck), Hildesheim (Nikolaus Schwerdtfeger) will take part for Catholics. President of the EKD Council, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm (Munich), Vice President Annette Prases Kurschus (Bielefeld), President of EKD Synod Irmgard Schwaetzer (Berlin), bishops of Hamburg (Kirsten Fehr), Bückeburg (Karl-Hinrich Manzke), Tubingen (Elisabeth Grab-Schmidt), Dusseldorf (Jacob Joussen), Ingelheim (Andreas Barner), and Director of EKD Marlehn Thieme will participate for the Evangelical.