OHIO -- Some local Christians in Dayton, Ohio, are not only observing suffering of Christ but they are also observing the cause of suffering of society today as they joined the 19th year Good Friday Walk for Justice and Peace on Friday afternoon in downtown Dayton. The march is held every year to mark the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and at the same time to call attention to contemporary struggles.
About hundred people joined the procession carrying small wooden crosses marked with words such as poverty, war, and layoffs. They drew attention from people on the street as they sang and recited prayer.
The march was sponsored by several organizations, including the American Friends Service Committee, Catholic Social Services, Church Women United, Greater Dayton Christian Connections and the University of Dayton Center for Social Concern.
Kathleen Foley, 37, of Dayton carried a cross that said "unemployment" because her niece and sister-in-law received college degrees in education a year ago and still have not found teaching jobs.
"It's just affecting all of us," said Foley, who brought along her daughters Margaret, 9, and Ellen, 7.
Stanley Harter, 71, of Vandalia carried a cross marked "Iraq."
"I feel sorry for the people over there and the servicemen dying over there," said Harter, a first-time march participant who said he supports U.S. involvement in Iraq. "I still think it's a good cause."
Brande Watson, 71, of Dayton, a member of Unity in the Valley, addressed the issue of racism, proclaiming “Good Friday Walk for Peace and Justice.”
"The Miami Valley remains one of the most segregated areas in the nation, and our separation from one another at meals, at prayer, at play and at planning is a major factor in maintaining this unjust structure," he said.
In hope of raising awareness about today’s suffering by having Christians leading such procession, he said, "It definitely has an effect.”