Pope Francis delivers Easter mass from empty basilica

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The Vatican live-streamed the Easter Sunday service as Catholics celebrate the holiday under lockdown

Christians around the world marked one of their holiest days from home as religious leaders held services behind closed doors and live-streamed sermons because of restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, called for global solidarity to fight the pandemic as he broke with centuries of tradition to deliver Easter Sunday mass behind closed doors. He called for poor nations suffering in the pandemic to have their debts reduced.

“May all nations be put in a position to meet the greatest needs of the moment through the reduction, if not the forgiveness, of the debt burdening the balance sheets of the poorest nations,” he said.

Armed police wearing face masks guarded the entrance to the Vatican City, watching over the empty square where thousands normally gather to hear the pope deliver a message after mass.

Last year, 70,000 turned out to watch the pope speak from a window in the apostolic palace, where he conducts his sermons most Sundays.

Early in March, the 83-year-old Argentine said he felt “caged” as he greeted the faithful online from his library as lockdown measures were imposed.

The pope conducted his mass before a small group of worshippers sitting one per pew to ensure social distancing with the proceedings streamed online. The service, normally one of the most joyful for Christians marking Christ’s resurrection after crucifixion, came at a grim time for Italy, which on Sunday was nearing 20,000 deaths in the country.

 

President Dr. Arif Alvi Felicitates Christians on Eater

President Dr. Arif Alvi greeted the Christians the world over, particularly the Christian community of Pakistan, on the sacred occasion of Easter.

Conveying his sincere wishes to the Christian community, the President in his felicitation’s message said that the Christian as well as other minorities were equal citizens of the state and their rights had fully been safeguarded by the constitution of Pakistan.

The President said that the true message of Easter was one of love, joy and happiness. “It also reminds us of the teachings of Jesus Christ and his universal message of love, forgiveness, and brotherhood, which can bring harmony and peace to the world,” he said. The President also appreciated the contribution made by the Christian community in the social and economic development of Pakistan.

 

PM Imran Khan Congratulates Christian Community On Easter

Prime Minister Imran Khan has congratulated the Christian citizens of the Pakistan on the occasion of Easter.

In a message on the occasion, wishing the Christian community, the Prime Minister appealed them to stay safe and keep your families safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He asked the Christian citizens to pray and celebrate at home by observing the national safety protocols.

 


A Christian worshipper prays in front of the closed door of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre before the start of the Easter Sunday service amid the coronavirus diseaseoutbreak, in Jerusalem’s Old City. AFP 

 

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