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Thousands of Christian Pilgrims Mark Good Friday in Jerusalem


Christians around the world are marking Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus. Robert Berger was on scene for the traditional observance in Jerusalem.

Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world joined the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's Old City. They marched down the narrow cobblestone streets of the Via Dolorosa, or the Way of Suffering. Singing hymns and reading Scriptures of the Passion, they retraced the footsteps of Jesus to the 14 stations of the cross. Some hoisted big wooden crosses on their shoulders.

Virginia Drew came from Illinois in the United States.

"I just think it's a privilege to be walking on the same ground that Jesus walked on," she said. "And even though I know that Jesus is here, there and everywhere, for time and time eternity, it's still kind of awesome for me."

Israeli troops with assault rifles guarded the route, but the atmosphere was calm on a warm, sunny day. In previous years, pilgrims were scared away by Israeli-Palestinian violence. But it was a big turnout this year, thanks to a lull in terrorism.

Drew said that Jerusalem is safer than a lot of places back home.

"Oh, I feel safe," she added. "There's probably more crime in some city in the United States. And hey, I look at it this way: If it's my time to go, it's my time to go."

The procession concluded at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, believed to be the site of Jesus' crucifixion. At the same place on Easter Sunday, believers will celebrate the resurrection.

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