Christians NAILED to crosses in gruesome Good Friday re-enactment of Jesus's death in the Philippines
- Church have condemned annual ritual which attracts crowd of 10,000
- Ruben Enaje, 51, took part in crucifixion for 26th TIME today
By Rob Cooper MydeaMedia
Christians were nailed to crosses in the Philippines today in a grim Good Friday reenactment of Jesus's suffering.
Thousands of people watched as 17 devoted Catholics were 'crucified' in the gruesome annual ritual.
Church leaders have condemned the practice which they believe are a distortion of the true Easter message.
Scroll down for video. WARNING: contains graphic images
Grim reenactment: Three Filipinos are nailed to crosses in a Good Friday crucifixion in Barangay Cutud, San Fernando. The event attracted a crowd of around 10,000 people
Pain: A Filipino man has nails through his hands - and some more put through his feet as he is put on a cross in the reenactment. The event has been condemned by the Catholic church
Nine men were crucified in Pampanga province's San Pedro Cutud village today, while at least eight others were crucified in neighbouring villages.
The annual event - which dates back to the 1950s - drew an estimated crowd of 10,000 worshippers.
Agony: Woman penitent Percy Valencia has a three inch steel nail hammered into her foot in Paombong, Bulacan province, northern Philippines, today
Horror: Percy Valencia, 41, is hoisted up onto a cross before being 'crucified' for a few minutes today
Ruben Enaje, a painter, 51, took part in the crucifixions for the 26th time today. He began taking part in the annual event to give thanks after he survived falling from a building.
'This is not just for fun or for money. This is a calling,' he told Filipino website Tempo.
He added that despite the crucifixions being condemned he still took part because the Church 'stay at home during Good Friday instead of reaching out to penitents to explain their side'.
Agony: Bobby Gomez grimaces as a nail is hammered into his hand in the Good Friday celebration
Bloody: Jon Jon Tanael looks at the nail going into his hand as a man holds a rag covered in blood during the event. 17 people took part
'This is a spiritual vow as a way of thanking God for sparing my life.'
He had three-inch steel nails hammered into his palms during the ceremony.
The spectacle is a unique brand of Catholicism that merges church traditions with Philippine folk superstitions.
More than 80 per cent of the Philippines' estimated 90 million population are Catholic.
Bloody feet: Filipinos acting as Centurions carry a penitent with bloodied feet after he was nailed to a cross during a reenactment of Jesus Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday in Barangay Cutud, San Fernando, Pampanga in northern Philippines
Close-up: Percy Valencia. 41, has a nail going all the way through her hand during the re-enactment today
Agony: Percy Valerncia, 41, closes her eyes as she is put on the cross with nails through her hands
Grim: Dozens of people take photos as Percy Valencia is hoisted onto the cross
Passover: An ultra-Orthodox Jew holds a box near a fire burning leaven in the Mea Shearim neighbourhood of Jerusalem, ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It commemorates the flight of Jews from ancient Egypt, as described in the Exodus chapter of the Bible.