What’s Wrong With Praying to the Black Nazarene?

Black Nazarene statue
Devotees carry the statue of the Black Nazarene during the start of an annual procession in Manila Jan. 9. The Black Nazarene, a life-size wooden statue of Jesus Christ carved in Mexico and brought to the Philippines in the 17th century, is believed to have healing powers in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. It is paraded through the narrow streets of Manila's old city from dawn to midnight. Police said about 500,000 people joined the procession on Wednesday. (Reuters/Erik de Castro)

Hundreds of thousands of barefoot Filipinos crowded around a black statue of Jesus Christ believed to bring miracles to the faithful, seeking the answer to prayers in a day-long procession through old Manila on Wednesday, according to a Reuters report.

Reuters reports: “Roman Catholic devotees flocked around the carriage with the wooden, life-sized statue known as the ‘Black Nazarene’ as it crawled through the city, praying that a slight touch would bless them, healing their illnesses and those of their relatives. Others participated to give thanks for answered prayers, such as a new job, a baby and even winning lotteries.”

The 200-year-old tradition drew about 500,000 people for an early morning Mass, but police expect crowds to swell to about 10 million as people from all over the world flock to the Philippines to worship an idol.

It’s shocking in this day and age that people who claim Christ as King would flock to a statue and expect to receive healings, jobs, babies and lottery winnings. It’s even more shocking that people like Girlie Tan, a mother of four who worked her way close to the statue, believes her past prayers to the Jesus statue kneeling with a heavy cross were answered.

What would Jesus say about this one? Discuss.

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