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

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora