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Bosnian Muslims on pilgrimage to ravine

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(3 Jul 2017) LEADIN:Bosnian Muslims have made their annual pilgrimage to Prusac.They believe that God split a huge rock to bring water to the village more than 500 years ago.STORYLINE:A scenic walk through the forests of central Bosnia. But these people are heading to a very special location.This is a pilgrimage that takes place every year in the small of Prusac.The Muslims trek through the the trees and wash themselves with spring water from a tap along the seven kilometre (4.3 mile) route.Then they head into a ravine which has deep spiritual significance."Over 500 years ago Prusac did not have water. Ajvaz dedo, a local religious leader at the time, knew a water spring existed nearby but it could not have been used because it was blocked by a huge rock. Each morning for 40 days he walked 7 kilometres (4.3 miles) up the hill to pray to God in front of the rock, asking God to split the rock in two thus creating a waterway to the village. On the morning of the 40th day he briefly fell asleep. He was woken up by a loud bang and when he opened his eyes he saw that the rock had split. When you look at that (split) rock today, you can see with your own eyes that it once formed a solid block," explains Esad Slipac, a local cleric. Muslims have been visiting this sacred site for five centuries to remember the miracle.Thousands come each year and pilgrim Hajrija Batic has travelled all the way from Austria to take part."We are preparing for this the whole year," she says.The Prusac pilgrimage was banned in 1947 by the communist regime of the former Yugoslav federation of which Bosnia was a part until 1992. It was allowed again in 1990 and had since never stopped, not even during the country's 1992-95 war. Pilgrim Muhidin Muslimovic says it "fills the soul with happiness".The worshippers gather in a nearby field to pray.Some arrive on horseback in traditional Muslim attire.The picturesque site is one of the most sacred places for Bosnian Muslims.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4104509 c34ddd7e7a63d134ec67aab9c39fee41 MEEX Bosnia Muslim Pilgrimage Bosnia and Herzegovina Eastern Europe General news Yugoslav Wars Social affairs
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