Christians around the world are observing Good Friday marking the day that Jesus was crucified. VOA was on scene where the events took place in Jerusalem.
Thousands of pilgrims packed into the narrow cobblestone alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City for the traditional Good Friday Procession. Singing hymns and reading from the Gospel, they retraced the footsteps of Jesus to the 14 Stations of the Cross. Many of the faithful hoisted large wooden crosses upon their shoulders.
It was a big turnout this year because the Eastern Orthodox and Western churches, which use different calendars, are observing Good Friday at the same time.
Pilgrims came to Jerusalem from all over the world, including Lindsey Bush from Los Angeles in the United States.
“I think it’s an incredible experience to be able to walk down the streets that we know Christ had been walking down ," said Bush. " And I think it’s an amazing experience to be able to recognize all the Christians coming together to think about and commemorate the Savior’s life and the sacrifice that He made when He was here.”
Israeli police and soldiers armed with pistols and assault rifles patrolled the crowded streets of the Old City.
Ebbe Andersen, who came from Denmark, said that is a provocation.
“I see uniformed people but I also see people in civilian clothes carrying weapons in the open," said Andersen. "That’s quite provoking to me. It’s provoking to me to see all the arms in the wide open [places]. And we don’t see weapons in the open in Denmark, in public.”
The procession wound up at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, on the site where tradition says Jesus was crucified and buried. On Easter Sunday, Christians will gather in the same church to celebrate the resurrection.