Christians Re-enact Good Friday With Public Processions Around The Globe

Carol Kuruvilla

Christians around the globe attended public processions this week to commemorate Good Friday, with members of diverse communities retelling the story of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

The annual processions in many countries defy centuries-old portrayals of Jesus as a white man and demonstrate how the world’s largest religion is influenced by its cultural settings. As of 2015, 31% of the earth’s 7.3 billion people practiced Christianity, according to the Pew Research Center.

Good Friday, the day Christians commemorate Jesus’ suffering and death, falls near the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and reflection that culminates with Easter, the day Christians believe Jesus was resurrected.  

The public Good Friday processions, sometimes called passion plays, often take viewers through the Stations of the Cross. These are the events that led up to Jesus’ death ― starting with his trial in front of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate and ending with his entombment, according to the Christian gospels.

Jewish organizations have criticized passion plays for how they portray Jewish people. Since 1965, the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian denominations have worked to correct inaccurate and anti-Semitic retellings of Good Friday.

Below, see how Christians around the world observed Good Friday this year.

Mexico 

Christians recreate the Passion of Christ in the Iztapalapa neighborhood in eastern Mexico City on April 19, 2019. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT via Getty Images)
A Christian portraying Jesus recreates the Stations of the Cross during Good Friday on April 19, 2019, in Colima, Mexico. (Leonardo Montecillo / Agencia Press South via Getty Images)
Christians act out the Stations of the Cross in Colima, Mexico. (Leonardo Montecillo / Agencia Press South via Getty Images)
People reenact the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday on a hill outside the village of San Mateo, Tepotzotlán, Mexico, on April 19, 2019. (Marco Ugarte/ ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Crosses set up on a hill outside the village of San Mateo, Tepotzotlán, on Good Friday. (Marco Ugarte / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

Haiti

Actors perform the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on April 19, 2019. (Dieu Nalio Chery / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
An actor depicts Jesus on Good Friday in Port-au-Prince. (Dieu Nalio Chery / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

Panama

Jose Fuentes, center, portrays Jesus Christ during a Good Friday procession in Panama City on April 19, 2019. (Arnulfo Franco / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Fuentes reenacts the crucifixion in Panama City. (Arnulfo Franco / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

Kenya 

Christian devotees reenact the Way of the Cross, or Jesus Christ's passion, during a Good Friday commemoration in Kibera, Nairobi, on April 19, 2019. (BRIAN OTIENO via Getty Images)
A man portrays Jesus in Kibera, Nairobi, on Good Friday. (BRIAN OTIENO via Getty Images)
Actors perform a passion play in Nairobi on Good Friday. (Sayyid Abdul Azim / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

 

Indonesia

A procession of Christians in Surabaya, East Java, on Good Friday. (Suryanto Putramudji/ / NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Christians reenact the crucifixion of Jesus in Surabaya, East Java. (Suryanto Putramudji / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

 

India

Christians mark Good Friday in Gauhati, India, on April 19, 2019. (Anupam Nath / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
A man portrays Jesus in Mumbai, India, on April 19, 2019. (Rajanish Kakade / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Christian devotees reenact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Hyderabad, India, on April 19, 2019. (Mahesh Kumar A / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Christians mark Good Friday outside St. Joseph's Cathedral in Prayagraj, India, on April 19, 2019. (Rajesh Kumar Singh / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

United Kingdom

James Burke-Dunsmore plays Jesus Christ during a Good Friday performance in Trafalgar Square on April 19, 2019, in London. (NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Actors reenact the crucifixion in front of crowds in Trafalgar Square on Good Friday. (Peter Summers via Getty Images)

 

Italy

Christians participate in a Good Friday procession in front of the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata on April 19, 2019 in Ispica, Italy.  (Fabrizio Villa via Getty Images)
Christians carry a cross toward Pope Francis, visible in the background, during a torchlight procession on Good Friday in Rome. (ANDREAS SOLARO via Getty Images)
Pope Francis presides over the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) torchlight procession on Good Friday in front of Rome's Colosseum on April 19, 2019. (Andrew Medichini / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

 

France

Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit leads Holy Week celebrations near Notre Dame Cathedral on April 19, 2019, four days after a fire engulfed the 850-year-old Gothic masterpiece. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN via Getty Images)
Religious officials carry the cross during a Good Friday procession in Paris on April 19, 2019. (Francois Mori / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
A group of penitents takes part in a traditional Catalan Good Friday procession in the center of Perpignan, southwestern France, on April 19, 2019.  (RAYMOND ROIG via Getty Images)

 

Jerusalem

An actor carries a cross toward the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, during the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's old city on April 19, 2019. (Ariel Schalit / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Members of a local Catholic Palestinian parish carry a wooden cross along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Suffering) in Jerusalem's Old City on Good Friday. (GALI TIBBON via Getty Images)
  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.