News / Middle East

Christian Pilgrims Observe Good Friday in Jerusalem

Christian worshipers carry a cross towards the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, during the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's Old City, Mar. 29, 2013.Christian worshipers carry a cross towards the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, during the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's Old City, Mar. 29, 2013.
x
Christian worshipers carry a cross towards the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, during the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's Old City, Mar. 29, 2013.
Christian worshipers carry a cross towards the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, during the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's Old City, Mar. 29, 2013.
Robert Berger
Christians around the world are observing Good Friday, which marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Thousands of pilgrims packed the narrow alleys of Jerusalem’s Old City for the traditional Good Friday Procession. Some people hoisted big wooden crosses on their shoulders as they marched down the cobblestoned path known asVia Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows.

The faithful retraced the footsteps of Jesus with the traditional devotion known as the stations of the Cross - reading scriptures, saying prayers and touching the sacred stones.

“I feel humbled before the Providence of God,” said John Thekkekara who came from Kerala, India. "This is believed to be the day on which Jesus was crucified. And it is the greatest experience in my life to be here on this day in Jerusalem.”

Pilgrims came from all over the world, from the Far East to the West. Mary Hull is from Georgia in the United States.

“To actually be here at the day of the crucifixion, wow, it just gives me that immediacy and that sense of gratitude for what He was willing to go through for me. I feel close to Jesus. I feel His presence,” she said.

Israeli soldiers armed with assault rifles guarded the route, as the procession wound up at the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion. It is there on Easter Sunday that Christians will celebrate the resurrection.

  • Catholic worshippers celebrate Good Friday inside the Our Lady of Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida do Norte, Sao Paulo, March 29, 2013.
  • People attend the 18th annual 'Way of the Cross Over the Brooklyn Bridge Ceremony' in New York, March 29, 2013.
  • A worker lights a cross before Pope Francis leads a Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession during Good Friday celebrations in front of the Colosseum in Rome, March 29, 2013.
  • Pope Francis attends the Celebration of the Lord's Passion in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 29, 2013.
  • Penitents of the Jesus Yacente brotherhood take part in a Holy Week procession in Zamora, northern Spain, March 28, 2013.
  • David Carnell, center, plays the part of Jesus Christ during a "Journey to the Cross" procession while celebrating Good Friday in Sydney, Australia, March 29, 2013.
  • Tourists watch as penitents, bloodied after self-flagellation, walk during a Good Friday crucifixion re-enactment in San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, Philippines, March 29, 2013.
  • Ruben Enaje, who was portrayed as Jesus Christ 27 times, as a nail is removed from his hand after being crucified during Good Friday rituals in San Pedro Cutud, Philippines, March 29, 2013.
  • An Indian Christian prays at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Good Friday in Hyderabad, India, March 29, 2013.
  • An Indonesian Christian devotee carries a bamboo cross as he walks with others during a Good Friday procession in Klaten, Central Java, Indonesia, March 29, 2013.
  • Catholics carry a cross at a street parade during a special Good Friday mass in Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 29, 2013.
  • Members of the Catholic clergy hold candles as they take part in a procession at the Washing of the Feet ceremony during Holy Week in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City, March 28, 2013.
  • People take photos of a Jesus Christ statue at the end of a Holy Week mass at the Church of Divine Mercy in Panama City, Panama, March 28, 2013.
  • An indigenous woman walks at Canaan fair, which is part of Holy Week events in Ayacucho, Peru, March 28, 2013.
  • Catholics hold candles during the Way of the Cross re-enactment in a Holy Week procession, Luque, Paraguay, March 27, 2013.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs