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Half dozen Filipino devotees nailed to crosses in Good Friday rites frowned upon by church

  • A Filipino penitent grimaces as he is nailed to the cross during Good Friday rituals on April 3, 2015 at Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines. Several Filipino devotees had themselves nailed to crosses Friday to remember Jesus Christ's suffering and death, an annual rite frowned upon by church leaders in this predominantly Roman Catholic country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    A Filipino penitent grimaces as he is nailed to the cross during Good Friday rituals on April 3, 2015 at Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines. Several Filipino devotees had themselves nailed to crosses Friday to remember Jesus Christ's suffering and death, an annual rite frowned upon by church leaders in this predominantly Roman Catholic country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Filipino penitent Ruben Enaje, center, is nailed to the cross for the 29th time during Good Friday rituals on April 3, 2015 at Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines. Several Filipino devotees had themselves nailed to crosses Friday to remember Jesus Christ's suffering and death, an annual rite frowned upon by church leaders in this predominantly Roman Catholic country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Filipino penitent Ruben Enaje, center, is nailed to the cross for the 29th time during Good Friday rituals on April 3, 2015 at Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines. Several Filipino devotees had themselves nailed to crosses Friday to remember Jesus Christ's suffering and death, an annual rite frowned upon by church leaders in this predominantly Roman Catholic country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Filipinos watch as a penitent is nailed to the cross during Good Friday rituals Friday, April 3, 2015 at Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines. Several Filipino devotees had themselves nailed to crosses Friday to remember Jesus Christ's suffering and death, an annual rite frowned upon by church leaders in this predominantly Roman Catholic country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Filipinos watch as a penitent is nailed to the cross during Good Friday rituals Friday, April 3, 2015 at Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines. Several Filipino devotees had themselves nailed to crosses Friday to remember Jesus Christ's suffering and death, an annual rite frowned upon by church leaders in this predominantly Roman Catholic country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

Half a dozen Filipino devotees had themselves nailed to wooden crosses to mimic the suffering of Jesus Christ on Good Friday in Asia's largest Roman Catholic nation.

Church leaders have spoken against the annual practice which mixes Catholic devotion with folk belief, but it continues to draw big crowds, particularly in northern Pampanga province.

The reenactment of Christ's crucifixion at a dusty mound in San Pedro Cutud village drew at least 4,000 spectators and tourists, dozens of them foreigners. But unlike in the past, organizers this year banned foreigners from being nailed to crosses.

Men dressed as Roman soldiers hammered nails on at least six Filipino devotees' hands and feet as some let out screams of pain.