Christians in San Pedro Cutud — a neighborhood in Pampanga, Philippines — canceled the annual Good Friday crucifixions for the second year in a row in response to federal limits on gatherings to curb the spread of Chinese coronavirus.
President Rodrigo Duterte banned mass gatherings for Holy Week in the greater Manila Metropolitan area and several other parts of the country documented rapidly increasing numbers of Chinese coronavirus, threatening to shut churches down if they defied the ban. The Catholic Church has largely complied, offering online services, but some around the country participated in their longstanding worship rituals, anyway — albeit wearing masks, face shields, and other protective gear.
“No more religious gatherings. Full stop!” Duterte spokesman Harry Roque warned this week.
Outside of Manila, regular reenactments of the Passion of Jesus Christ occurred as they have for decades, though some rescheduled the events, potentially to limit attendance.