‘Christ’ becomes latest in Peru to be ensnared in corruption | AFP

A giant statue of Jesus Christ that looms over Lima has caused controversy in Peru because of its financing by the graft-tainted Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht and late ex-president Alan Garcia, with many calling it a symbol of corruption.

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Bethlehem’s Nativity Church removed from UNESCO endangered list | AFP

UNESCO removes Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity from its ‘World Heritage in Danger’ list after the building, identified by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, went under renovation and conservation works. Church and Palestinian officials have since overseen high-quality work restoring “roof, exterior facades, mosaics and doors,” UNESCO said in a statement.

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Emotions run high as Holy Staircase reopened in Rome

Emotional pilgrims climb the Scala Santa or Holy Staircase on their knees, for the first time since 1723 when the steps were covered in wooden planks to preserve them. The marble staircase of 28 steps is believed in the Roman Catholic tradition to have been the staircase Jesus Christ walked before his judgement before the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. The steps are open to pilgrims for a short time only, and in two months will once again be covered in wood to protect the soft marble.

LDS church move on same sex policy stirs reaction

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Thursday repealed rules that banned baptisms for children of gay parents and that labeled same-sex couples as sinners eligible for expulsion. (April 5)

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Thousands of devotees join massive Black Nazarene procession in the Philippines

#Manila #Traslacion

More than 600 people were left injured as hundreds of thousands of devotees attended the ‘Traslacion’ procession of the Black Nazarene in Manila on Wednesday.

Close to 800,000 worshippers attended this year’s procession with many flinging themselves at the black statue of Jesus Christ for its believed healing powers.

The statue is paraded through the city every year in one of the most-attended religious gatherings of the Catholic church.

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World-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir changes name

(5 Oct 2018) The world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir will now be called the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is changing the name in an effort to end the shorthand name “Mormon” for the religion. (Oct. 5)

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Orthodox Christians mark Epiphany along Jordan River

Thousands of Christian Orthodox pilgrims join a procession and hold baptisms along the Jordan River during Epiphany celebrations at the Qasr al-Yahud baptismal site near the West Bank city of Jericho – where according to the gospels Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist.

Da Vinci painting is New York auction season star

“Salvator Mundi,” a painting of Jesus Christ by the Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci circa 1500, is the star lot in New York’s November art auctions that will see Christie’s and Sotheby’s chase combined art sales of more than $1 billion.

Good Friday in Mexico: Volunteers join ‘Engrillados’ ceremony w/ cacti thorns stuck into their limbs

The men volunteered to cover their faces with masks, put a crown of thorns on their heads and have cacti thorns stuck into their limbs, to join ‘Engrillados’ ceremony – celebrations of Good Friday – the first Friday before Easter, which marks the date of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion by the Roman authorities.

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Crucifixion in the Philippines

In the Philippines, Good Friday is spent performing a very literal reenactment of the Bible, specifically, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The annual ritual, which draws crowds of spectators to the streets of San Fernando — a city 50 miles north of Manila — feels like the movies, except it’s all real, from the Roman costumes, down to the real nails being hammered into real human hands.

The celebrations have been going on for years, much to the disappointment of the Catholic Church, who says the ritual is a corruption of Christ’s message.

VICE News attends the Good Friday celebrations in San Fernando to speak with people partaking in this controversial ritual.

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