Crowds of pilgrims flock to J'lem for Good Friday

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 14, 2006 18:17

 
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Thousands of Christian pilgrims filled the narrow streets of Jerusalem's Old City on Good Friday, retracing the route that Jesus followed on his way to the crucifixion. The pilgrims packed the Via Dolorosa, the path winding through the walled Old City where tradition says Jesus walked as he carried his cross on the path to his death. The processions all ended at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which marks the site of the crucifixion. Israeli Arab Christians were among the largest groups following the route on the Via Dolorosa. Crowds were larger than in recent years, encouraged by a relative lull in Israeli-Palestinian violence. Although police did not have a crowd size for the Good Friday celebrations, the Israeli Tourism Ministry said 90,000 tourists are visiting the country for Passover and Easter this year, up 20 percent from last year.

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