As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Easter, the government of the Philippines has warned the faithful of the possible health risks of overly vigorous religious observance. The Department of Health (DOH) has strongly advised penitents to check on the condition of their whip before they lash their backs with it this Holy Week.
The Philippines is a Catholic country and in some towns the Passion is re-enacted by self-flagellation and crucifixion. The department warned that dirty whips could lead to tetanus and other infections. Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd said that since it is hard to discourage flagellants from whipping their own flesh, the best penitents can do is ensure that their whips are well-maintained.