RELIGION

Filipinos re-enact Christ's crucifixion in gory spectacle

Filipino penitents on wooden crosses take part in a reenactment during Good Friday rituals on Friday, April 14, 2017 at Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines. They were remembering Jesus Christ's suffering and death. (AP Photo/Vicente Gonzales)

Filipino penitents on wooden crosses take part in a reenactment during Good Friday rituals on Friday, April 14, 2017 at Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines. They were remembering Jesus Christ's suffering and death. (AP Photo/Vicente Gonzales)  (The Associated Press)

Several Filipino devotees have been nailed to crosses in a re-enactment of a Good Friday ritual, which one of the men dedicated to the victims of the deadly bombings of two churches in Egypt.

Ruben Enaje (EH'-nah-heh), who has been re-enacting Jesus Christ's suffering and death for the past 31 years, said he always prays for the health of his family during the ritual. But this time he added the victims of the Egyptian attacks, which killed 45 people and wounded dozens on Palm Sunday.

The gory spectacle reflects the Philippines' unique brand of Catholicism, which merges church traditions with folk superstitions. Many of the mostly impoverished penitents undergo the ritual to atone for sins or pray for the sick.

The Lenten rituals are frowned upon by church leaders.