Christians converge on Jerusalem for Good Friday - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Christians converge on Jerusalem for Good Friday

JERUSALEM (AP) - The cobblestone alleyways of Jerusalem's Old City became moving forests of wooden crosses as Christian pilgrims and clergymen commemorated the day of Jesus' crucifixion, Good Friday.

Black-robed nuns filed past metal barriers erected by police as dozens of tourists in matching red baseball hats held up digital cameras. Some pilgrims carried elaborately carved crucifixes, while others had crude crosses made of two planks held together with tape.

Good Friday rituals center on the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Christian tradition says Jesus was crucified and buried before his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

While Catholics and Orthodox Christians follow different calendars, this year their Easters coincide and the churches are commemorating Good Friday together.

Watching as hundreds pressed through the narrow Jerusalem street called the Via Dolorosa - the "Way of Suffering," tracing Jesus' final steps - was Katy Fitzpatrick, 24, Spokane, Washington. She said the event was both "exciting" and "a little overwhelming."

"It's a little intimidating, and the riot gear is a little intimidating too," she said of the heavy presence of green-clad Israeli police deployed to keep the peace.

Around midday, an American church group performed a reenactment of Jesus' walk to his crucifixion - including an actor who played Jesus, wearing a crown of thorns and carrying a heavy cross, who was led by other actors dressed as Roman legionnaires.

Amalia Daskalaki, 71, from the Greek island of Crete, said this was her third visit to Jerusalem for Good Friday and that she was moved each time. "It's so nice. I like to cry all the time," she said.

Amid the crush of Christians from all over the world, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man in black tried to make his way along the crowded street by pressing against one of the walls. Jews are currently celebrating the weeklong spring holiday of Passover, and thousands of Jewish pilgrims and tourists were also in the Old City.

In addition, Muslims were holding weekly Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque, located in a compound they call the Noble Sanctuary and Jews call the Temple Mount. The disputed compound has been the scene of recent clashes between Muslims and Israeli police.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said around 2,500 policemen had spread out in and around the Old City to enable all three faiths to observe their rituals. No disturbances were reported Friday.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • breaking

    ASP investigates homicide

    ASP investigates homicide

    Sunday, December 17 2017 2:22 PM EST2017-12-17 19:22:42 GMT
    Sunday, December 17 2017 2:31 PM EST2017-12-17 19:31:41 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    According to Lt. Allen Edwards with the Newport Police Department, authorities are investigating the death of a man Saturday night. 

    According to Lt. Allen Edwards with the Newport Police Department, authorities are investigating the death of a man Saturday night. 

  • Ex-wife of Lorenzen Wright charged with first-degree murder

    Ex-wife of Lorenzen Wright charged with first-degree murder

    Sunday, December 17 2017 2:24 PM EST2017-12-17 19:24:45 GMT
    (Source: Riverside County Sheriff Department)(Source: Riverside County Sheriff Department)

    The ex-wife of murdered NBA player Lorenzen Wright has been arrested by U.S Marshals in California. 

    The ex-wife of murdered NBA player Lorenzen Wright has been arrested by U.S Marshals in California. 

  • breaking

    Fire destroys shop in Jackson County

    Fire destroys shop in Jackson County

    Sunday, December 17 2017 11:55 AM EST2017-12-17 16:55:56 GMT
    Sunday, December 17 2017 1:41 PM EST2017-12-17 18:41:53 GMT
    (Source: AP Graphics Bank)(Source: AP Graphics Bank)

    Firefighters spent several hours Sunday battling a blaze in Jackson County that completely destroyed a 10,000-square-foot shop. 

    Firefighters spent several hours Sunday battling a blaze in Jackson County that completely destroyed a 10,000-square-foot shop. 

Powered by Frankly