Thousands in Israel Honor Jesus' Death

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Thousands of Christians are in Jerusalem on this Good Friday, retracing the route Jesus walked to his crucifixion.

Many are walking the old streets and visiting several of the sites that tell the story of what happened to Christ before he was nailed to the cross.

Some pilgrims carried large wooden crosses as they walked down the Via Dolorosa, or Way of Sorrows, stopping at 14 stations to commemorate the events of Christ's death.

Others crowded into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to pray. Tradition holds that this was the site of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.

Some chanted hymns, while others prostrated themselves on a smooth stone slab marking the spot where Jesus' body was believed to have been placed after being removed from the cross.

Good Friday is the beginning of the celebration and culminates Easter Sunday, which marks the resurrection of Jesus.

Visitors in the city hailed from Brazil, the Philippines, Poland, Spain, and African nations.

The crowd in one of the Old City's streets included two dozen members of an American church group from Ohio. Eileen Joiner, 43, from Akron, said she was moved to be in Jerusalem.

"You see a picture and it looks impressive. You see it in person, and it's always so much more," she said.

The group's pastor, Janice Skeen, said a recent shooting attack in Jerusalem had not deterred them.

"You can't escape the feeling and the presence of God here. This is his special land," she said.

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press

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