Men Crucify Themselves in Philippines
It's a Good Friday tradition
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 18, 2014 7:48 AM CDT
A Filipino devotee is nailed to a cross to re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Santa Lucia village, Pampanga province, northern Philippines on Friday, April 18, 2014.   (Aaron Favila)

(Newser) – It's Good Friday, which means it's time for the Philippines' annual bloody ritual: Devotees in northern villages had themselves nailed to wooded crosses to re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as thousands of local and foreign spectators watched. Church leaders and health officials in Asia's largest Roman Catholic nation have spoken against the practice, which mixes Roman Catholic devotion with folk belief, but the annual rites continue to draw participants and huge crowds, particularly in northern Pampanga province.

Devotees undergo the crucifixions in the belief that such extreme sacrifices are a way to atone for their sins, attain miracle cures for illnesses, or give thanks to God. Sign painter Ruben Enaje, 53, had himself nailed to a cross at a dusty mound in Pampanga's San Pedro Cutud village for the 28th year. Men dressed as Roman soldiers hammered stainless steel nails into his palms and feet, as a crowd of onlookers stood with cameras ready to capture his and other penitents' agony. Lasse Spang Olsen, a 48-year-old filmmaker from Denmark, also had himself nailed to a cross, joining Enaje and eight other Filipino devotees. He grimaced in pain as nails pierced his hands and feet. After being helped down from the cross, he said of his experience: "Fantastic, you should try it."

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Apr 19, 2014 5:32 PM CDT
James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, lust and the touching things. Then, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gifts of lord is from above and the heavenly Father does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Apr 18, 2014 8:57 PM CDT
Always look on the bright side of life!
Apr 18, 2014 6:26 PM CDT
Religion makes people do some really stupid things.