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World Philippines cancels 'Black Nazarene' parade as pandemic lingers

08:15  23 october  2020
08:15  23 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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PHILIPPINES : MANILA: BLACK NAZARENE STATUE - Продолжительность: 3:39 AP Archive 21 851 просмотр. SINULOG 2020 GRAND LAUNCHING PARADE | CEBU PHILIPPINES - Продолжительность: 11:15 yorn bagz 196 591 просмотр.

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine capital Manila on Friday cancelled an annual procession of a centuries-old black wooden statue of Jesus Christ that draws millions of Roman Catholic devotees as the coronavirus pandemic continues to afflict the country.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: FILE PHOTO: Filipino devotees raise their hands after the statue of the Black Nazarene arrives at Quiapo Church during its feast day in Manila © Reuters/WILLY KURNIAWAN FILE PHOTO: Filipino devotees raise their hands after the statue of the Black Nazarene arrives at Quiapo Church during its feast day in Manila

The Philippines, renowned for its colourful religious rituals, has the second-highest number of novel coronavirus infections and deaths in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia.

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Hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics in the Philippines walked barefoot on Thursday around a centuries-old black wooden statue of Jesus Christ believed to have healing powers, praying for good health and economic success in the new year.

The statue is paraded through the city every year in one of the most-attended religious gatherings of the Catholic church. After an eve of 'Pahalik' or kissing the statue's feet, the statue is symbolically transferred from the Quirino Grandstand to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Parish of

"The grand procession of the life-sized image of the Black Nazarene in January 2021 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the city government of Manila said in a statement.

Millions of devotees, mostly in yellow and maroon shirts and walking barefoot, typically jostle to draw near a carriage bearing the life-sized image of the "Black Nazarene" shouldering a heavy cross. The statue, carved in Mexico, is believed to have miraculous healing powers even to the slightest touch.

FILE PHOTO: Filipino devotees raise their hands as the statue of the Black Nazarene arrives at Quiapo Church during its feast day in Manila © Reuters/WILLY KURNIAWAN FILE PHOTO: Filipino devotees raise their hands as the statue of the Black Nazarene arrives at Quiapo Church during its feast day in Manila

The procession, a tradition in the former Spanish colony that goes back more than two centuries, usually lasts more than 20 hours.

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How a 16th century statue of Black Jesus has become the center of worship amongst the Catholic community in the Philippines . Subscribe, share and comment.

Five million devotees set to join Black Nazarene procession. Church leader urged public to pray for Duterte and keep faith. Over five million Catholics are expected to join one of the world’s biggest annual religious gatherings in the Philippines amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s heightened attacks

Manila, the country's coronavirus hotspot, is under partial quarantine restrictions until the end of October, with mass gatherings banned and social distancing measures imposed on public transport.

Cemeteries and columbaria have been ordered to close to prevent crowding during the All Saints' and All Souls' Day holidays starting in late October, while seating capacity in churches is currently capped at 30%.

The respiratory virus has infected 363,888 people and killed 6,783 in the Philippines.

About 80 percent of the country's 107 million people identify as Roman Catholic given hundreds of years as a Spanish colony.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Ed Davies and Kim Coghill)

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