The news is out: [MANILA (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics in the Philippines walked barefoot on Thursday around a centuries-old black wooden statue of Jesus Christ believed to have healing powers, praying for good health and economic success in the new year.
Devotees clad in yellow and maroon thronged the life-sized statue known as the “Black Nazarene” as it was paraded through the streets of Manila aboard a rope-pulled carriage, in one of the main annual festivals in Asia’s largest Catholic nation.
“I joined the procession to wish for good fortune for my family, good health and for my future plans,” Ian Lanaria, 24, told Reuters.
Participating for the first time, Lanaria said he had decided to join after previously watching the mass ritual on television and hearing about the miracles from his friends.
People were seen jostling through the crowd of police to be near the statue as it crawled through the capital, believing that a slight touch would bless them, heal their illnesses and those of their relatives.]
“This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own. (Sam Harris)”