With fasts and daylong prayer services in churches, Delhi observed Good Friday, marking the crucification of Jesus Christ.

Bity John, a public relations executive, said: “On Good Friday we have extensive prayer services in the church to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, which we believe brought salvation to all”.

“People also fast on this day. Many, like me, have been observing strict dietary restrictions like not eating non-vegetarian food for the past 50 days. Others have been doing the same during this week which is called Passion week,” John told IANS.

The fasting will end Sunday when the community celebrates Easter -- marking the resurrection of Christ.

“Good Friday is of great significance to the Christian community because it signifies the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The day also reminds us, therefore, of the importance of giving alms and practising charity to help the less fortunate,” said Robin Paul.

Voicing their concern on demands for caste-based reservations, two Christian organisations, the Indian Christian Action Forum (Forum ICRA) and Poor Christians Liberation Movement (PCLM) Friday appealed to the church leadership to first take steps to end discrimination against Dalit Christians.

“Good Friday is a time of repentance when the faithful are supposed to admit their guilt and find ways for improvement. Hence it is appropriate to seek justice from the church in India for the poor Christians who have been wronged by bishops’ policies,” a statement by the organisations said.

“How can caste-based reservations by the government for Christians, as recommended by the Ranganath Misra Commission report, end discrimination within the church,” asked R.L. Francis, PCLM president.