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Filipino re-enactment CROSSES the line.


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Filipinos whipped and nailed to crosses in terrifyingly realistic re-enactment of the Crucifixion



By Mail Foreign Service

Last updated at 6:47 PM on 02nd April 2010




Devout Filipinos have been nailed to crosses and whipped in an annual ritual to mark Good Friday.

Dozens of people were crucified in villages across the Roman Catholic country, in one of the world's most bizarre practices to mark the day when Christians believe Jesus Christ was put to death.

The event drew more than 10,000 Filipino and foreign spectators.



Painfully devoted: Ruben Enaje, a 49-year-old sign painter, was nailed to a cross for the 24th time as his way of thanking God for his survival after falling from a building. The bizarre practice is an annual Filipino ritual to mark Good Friday



Ritual: Men raise the cross of the penitent in San Juan village, northern Philippines


Many gathered at San Pedro Cutud, a farming village where devotees dressed in robes and tin crowns walked to a dusty mound carrying wooden crosses on their backs.


At the mound, men nailed their hands and feet to the crosses.







Among the devotees was Ruben Enaje, a 49-year-old sign painter who was nailed to a cross for the 24th time as his way of thanking God for his survival after falling from a building.

Mary Jane Mamangon, a 34-year-old rice cake vendor, was the lone female devotee to be nailed to a cross this year in San Juan village. It was her 14th time.


Devotee: This man, from the village of San Pedro, north of Manila, was among more than 23 people who were nailed to crosses

She said she started when she was 18 and has taken part in the annual rites on and off to seek God's help in saving her ill grandmother and now her younger sister, who is suffering from cancer.

'I do it because I have seen that it works,' she said. 'I saw how my grandmother recovered from her illness.'


Similar rites took place in nearby Bulacan province, while in other parts of the country, half-dressed, barefooted flagellants walked the streets, whipping their bloody backs with pieces of wood dangling from ropes as a way to atone for sins.



Catholic: Mary Jane Mamangon, 34, was the lone woman to be crucified in Pampanga province, northern Philippines






Maria Wendelyn Pedrosa, 19, is carried by Filipinos in the town of Hagonoy, Bulacan province, northern Philippines

The crucifixion re-enactment has taken place for over 33 years and ends at 3pm, when a person portraying the role of Jesus is nailed on the cross.


According to Catholics, this is also the exact time when Jesus died.


Church leaders reject such practices. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said the real expression of Christian faith during Lent is through repentance and self-renewal, not flagellation or crucifixion.

Bishop Rolando Tirona of the Prelature of Infanta said flagellation and cross nailings were expressions of superstitious beliefs, and were usually done out of need for money or to encourage tourism.



The ritual has taken place for the last 33 years, and ends at 3pm - which is the exact time the Catholics believe Jesus died




A man rushes forward carrying a cross as he is whipped by others during the reenactment of the sufferings of Jesus Christ

About 80 per cent of the population of more than 90million people in the Philippines are Roman Catholic.

For the first time foreigners were banned from taking part in the ritual carried out in Pampanga province's San Fernando city.

Organiser Ching Pangilinan said the ban was imposed after foreigners took part in previous years to make fun of the rites.


'We don't want them to just make a mockery out of the tradition of the people here,' Pangilinan said.

Meanwhile... in Trafalgar Square


A man dressed as Jesus on the cross for a Good Friday open air performance of The Passion Of Jesus in London's Trafalgar Square, which attracted hundreds of onlookers.



Enlarge article-1263100-08F9FB1A000005DC-337_306x623.jpg



Hundreds of people looked on during a Good Friday performance at Trafalgar Square



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1263100/Filipinos-nailed-crosses-whipped-Good-Friday-ritual.html#ixzz0jzTGH4zN

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