Thousands of Christian pilgrims have converged on Jerusalem to take part in the traditional Good Friday procession.
throng of Christian pilgrims crowded into the narrow cobblestone
streets on the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, here in Jerusalem's
Old City. Some carried big wooden crosses, others read Bible passages,
as they retraced the footsteps of Jesus to the 14 Stations of the
Tourist feels 'sense of unity'
Haley Peterson came from San Antonio, Texas.
love it," he said. "I think it's a great experience to really take part
in the culture and the traditions here. It's not something you get back
at home. You know, there's a sense of unity here that everybody joins
in and worships here. I love that."
Steven Wilkenson is from the U.S. state of Utah.
a special opportunity to be where the Lord Jesus Christ was and to be
able to meditate where he meditated, to look on the city that he looked
on, and to be with the people who love and cherish Him," he said.
Anti-terror police on the scene
in black and heavily-armed, Israeli anti-terror police guarded the
route, but Wilkenson said there is more coexistence in Jerusalem than
"There's a lot of good people here of all faiths
who have Jewish friends, Muslim friends, Christian friends, and I feel
really comfortable here," said Wilkenson.
The Christians mingled
with Jewish pilgrims visiting the Old City for the biblical holiday of
Passover, and Muslims attending Friday prayers at the nearby Mosque of
Al-Aksa, the third holiest place in Islam.
The Good Friday
procession wound up at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the
traditional site of Jesus' crucifixion and burial. At the same site on
Easter Sunday, Christians will celebrate the resurrection.