Orthodox Christians mark Good Friday in Jerusalem

Apr 13, 2012, 7:34 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) – Eastern Orthodox Christian pilgrims are marching through the stone alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City to commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion some 2,000 years ago.

Roman Catholics and Protestants marked Good Friday last week, according to the Gregorian calendar. Eastern Orthodox churches follow the older, Julian calendar, and they are marking the holy day this week.

Pilgrims are visiting from Cyprus, Greece, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine and other eastern European countries. About 10,000 Coptic believers from Egypt are also in Jerusalem this year. For decades, their recently deceased pope prevented pilgrimages to the Holy Land to protest Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

The Orthodox Holy Week reaches a climax on Saturday with a Holy Fire ceremony at the site believed to be Jesus’ tomb.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Orthodox Christians mark Good Friday in Jerusalem