Photo Feature: Goa Mourns Jesus’s Martyrdom

Shome Basu on Good Friday in Margao

At a church over three hundred years old in Margao, Goa, people assemble in the hundreds, wearing black clothes, their eyes reddened from weeping.

It is Good Friday, the day of the martyrdom of Jesus.

Some 2000 years ago, the Roman monarch Pontius Pilate convicted Jesus of treason and declared that Jesus thought himself king of the Jews. Jesus was advocating Christianity, which was against Roman paganism and the Jewish priesthood.

Today, Goa mourns Jesus’s death. The city of Margaon, normally overrun by tourists from all around the world, seems to cease functioning: no taxis, shops or socialisation of any kind.


In the packed church in Margaon, the people weep together as the statue of the crucified Jesus is carried from one cross to another for public view.


A statue of mother Mary is also brought out and carried, so she can witness the mock crucifixion.



As they re-enact the events of two millennia ago, the faith in the eyes of the Goan Catholics is unwavering.