Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday

Sri Lankan Christians carry a cross symbolizing the journey of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ during a Good Friday procession in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, April 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
Sri Lankan Christians carry a cross symbolizing the journey of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ during a Good Friday procession in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, April 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

(AP) – Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified.

In the Philippines, Asia’s largest Roman Catholic nation commemorated the occasion by re-enacting the crucifixion. Devotees have themselves nailed to wooden crosses, rituals that church leaders do not condone but that draw huge crowds. Undeterred, some penitents participate in the practice year after year.

A Filipino devotee who was nailed to a cross is lifted as they try to re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in San Juan village, Pampanga province, northern Philippines on Friday, April 18, 2014. Church leaders and health officials have spoken against the practice which mixes Roman Catholic devotion with folk belief, but the annual rites continue to draw participants and huge crowds. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
A Filipino devotee who was nailed to a cross is lifted as they try to re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in San Juan village, Pampanga province, northern Philippines on Friday, April 18, 2014. Church leaders and health officials have spoken against the practice which mixes Roman Catholic devotion with folk belief, but the annual rites continue to draw participants and huge crowds. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Devotees undergo the re-enactment in the belief that extreme pain is a way to atone for their sins, attain miracle cures for illnesses or give thanks to God.

In the Holy Land, Christians marked the day with prayers and processions, with thousands of pilgrims crowding along the Via Dolorosa, or “Way of Suffering,” carrying wooden crosses.

They end at the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Tradition says the church was built on the site where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

An Indian Christian devotee enacts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ to mark Good Friday at The Mount Carmel Church in Hyderabad, India, Friday, April 18, 2014. Christians all over the world are marking Good Friday, the day when Christ was crucified. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
An Indian Christian devotee enacts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ to mark Good Friday at The Mount Carmel Church in Hyderabad, India, Friday, April 18, 2014. Christians all over the world are marking Good Friday, the day when Christ was crucified. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

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