Black-robed Arab priests and a scattering of Christian pilgrims carried wooden crosses Friday along the path Jesus Christ followed to his death, and they prayed at the site where he was crucified.
In the Philippines, a dozen people - including two men serving life sentences for murder - were nailed to crosses as thousands of tourists and religious devotees watched. Hundreds of others beat their backs bloody.Pope John Paul II, hoisting a 5-foot wooden cross, led a torchlight procession through the Roman Colosseum at the Vatican on Friday night in a re-enactment of Jesus' walk to his crucifixion.
In Germany, hundreds of activists marked Good Friday by marching for peace and disarmament.
The traditional Good Friday observances in the winding streets of Jerusalem's Old City drew the poorest attendance in years. Western pilgrims stayed away because of Middle East tensions and Arab Christians from the occupied territories were barred from attending by army roadblocks and curfews.
Hundreds of paramilitary border policemen flanked the Via Dolorosa, or Way of Sorrow, as small groups of Christians moved with their crosses. Security was stepped up sharply following a series of fatal stabbing attacks by Arabs against Jews.
Most of the pilgrims paused to pray and sing at the 14 stations marking Christ's route to Calvary.