As far as I understood, and having taken into account the following through googling, I reached the bold part. I am wondering if I am right.
You usually say:
near to something that is abstract.
Take the following:
near to God
near to fear
near to death
Updated: Definition of near preposition from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
near preposition BrE /nɪə(r)/ ; NAmE /nɪr/ (also near to, nearer (to), nearest (to)) Near to is not usually used before the name of a place, person, festival, etc. Add to my wordlist at a short distance away from somebody/something Do you live near here? Go and sit nearer (to) the fire.