17 Men Nailed to Crosses in Philippines

Church opposes yearly ritual
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2012 7:12 AM CDT
17 Men Nailed to Crosses in Philippines
A man is nailed to a cross on Good Friday April 6, 2012 before a large crowd of spectators in Paombong town, north of the Philippine capital.   (Getty Images)

At least 17 men were nailed to crosses to mark Good Friday in front of thousands in Philippine villages today. Under the watch of villagers posing as Roman centurions, the men were crucified for a few minutes as part of a religious reenactment that occurs yearly, the AP reports. Those enduring the crucifixions aim to give thanks, atone for sins, or pray. After his 26th time on the cross, "I feel good because my suffering has ended," said one man.

But Filipino church leaders are opposed to the practice, in which shirtless men first trudge miles hitting their backs with sticks; some had cuts made on their backs to maintain a bloody appearance. "We do not judge and condemn, but we discourage" the ritual, says an archbishop. Adds another leader: "The church's position is there's no need to go through this physical and literal pain on the body because Christ already did that for us." (More Philippines stories.)

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