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Orthodox Christians commemorate Good Friday in Jerusalem

media Orthodox Christians mark Good Friday in a procession along the Via Dolorosa in the Old City of Jerusalem, on April 26, 2019 AFP

Orthodox Christians from around the world marked Good Friday with a procession through Jerusalem's Old City, retracing the steps Jesus is said to have taken on the way to his death.

Thousands of pilgrims, many carrying wooden crosses and at least one wearing a crown of thorns on his head, visited the 14 Stations of the Cross marking the traditional sites of Jesus's condemnation up to his crucifixion.

Armed Israeli police lined the route, along the "Via Dolorosa", or "Way of the Suffering", which includes points where Jesus is said to have met his mother, fallen several times, been helped in carrying the cross and met the lamenting women of Jerusalem.

The procession ended at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Israeli-occupied east Jerusalem, built at the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

Western Christians, who follow a different calendar to the Orthodox churches, made the same procession a week earlier.

The majority of the Christians in the Holy Land belong to the Orthodox faith but traditionally they do not play a major part in the procession.

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