Hundreds of thousands of Catholic devotees have joined a chaotic procession in Manila, the Philippine capital, today in the hope of getting a glimpse of the Black Nazarene statue. The faithful gathered in downtown Manila to follow a carriage bearing the statue of Black Jesus, believed to have healing powers, in a parade that began at dawn and may last until evening or even longer. However, the idea of the statue angers some Christians, who believe it is not a representation of the Messiah, but has been confused with the Pagan version of the deity Zeus.
By worshipping the statue, according to certain Christians, the Philippine followers are angering God, according to bizarre claims.
Conspiracy website Cogwriter reads: “The truth is that Jesus did not have long hair, look like the ‘Black Nazarene’ image, nor did He ever carry a cross looking like that.
“The idea that touching idols is good is certainly not from the Bible.
“Whatever healing powers are claimed for the ‘Black Nazarene,’ they do not come from the God of the Bible.
Black Jesus WARNING: ‘God will PUNISH followers’ as 100,000s join procession in Manila
“It is a version of the pagan deity Zeus that many people are bowing down before or otherwise venerating.”
The website says that the Bible even mentions the perils of worshipping false prophets, including wooden ones such as the Black Nazarene.
Revelation 9:20, supposedly written by the apostle John, reads: “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.”
Cogwirter adds: “Unless they repent, idolaters will be outside the Kingdom of God.
The procession is expected to draw 5 million people
“Many in the Philippines and elsewhere who profess Christianity should pay more attention to what God inspired the Apostle John and the others in the New Testament to write.”
Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos joined an annual procession in the Philippine capital to kiss or touch a centuries-old black wooden statue of Jesus Christ, believed to have miraculous healing powers, in a grand display of Catholic devotion.
The devotees, mostly walking barefoot, surrounded the carriage bearing the life-sized image of the “Black Nazarene” shouldering a heavy cross as it paraded through the city.
Many of them, in yellow and maroon shirts, threw white towels to people on the carriage to wipe on the statue, while others jostled to touch the thick ropes used to pull the carriage, believing the slightest touch would bless and heal their illnesses.
About 80 percent of the more than 100 million people of the Philippines are Roman Catholic.
The Philippines is renowned for its colourful religious rituals, and the celebration of the “Black Nazarene” is a tradition in the former Spanish colony that goes back more than two centuries.
The increasing number of devotees showed the growing strength of the Catholic faith, Manila auxiliary bishop Broderick Pabillo said in response to criticism that the procession borders on idolatry.
Pabillo was quoted by DZMM radio station as saying: “Let’s deepen our understanding of spirituality.”
“The idea that touching idols is good is certainly not from the Bible.”
Wednesday’s procession, which is expected to last around 20 hours, is expected to draw five million people, police said.
It is not known why the statue, which was carved in Mexico, turned black. There are myths that the original statue donated by Spanish priests was burned as a fire erupted on the ship that carried it to the Philippines in the early 17th century.
Close to 300,000 were in the Manila procession, based on an early morning estimate by police, excluding those waiting elsewhere along its more than six-kilometre route.
Thousands of police and soldiers deployed were deployed in the city to provide security, and coast guard boats were also on standby as the huge crowd was expected to cross a narrow bridge later in the afternoon.