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Filipino Catholics pray for Mideast peace in massive procession venerating a black statue of Jesus

By JIM GOMEZ, JOEAL CALUPITAN AND AARON FAVILA
Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A massive crowd of mostly barefoot Catholic worshippers is marching in an annual procession in the Philippines’ capital, parading a centuries-old black statue of Jesus. Many worshippers at the event said they were praying for peace in the Middle East, where tens of thousands of Filipinos work, as fears rise of a spread of the Israel-Hamas war, now in its fourth month. The procession was suspended during the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the statue was not paraded to discourage even larger crowds. As the event got underway on Tuesday, the crowd of devotees — many in maroon shirts imprinted with the image of the Black Nazarene — swelled to more than 2 million, according to a police estimate.

Article Topic Follows: ap-national-news

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