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

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.