Christians Celebrate Easter, Pope Blesses WorldWorld | April 20, 2014, Sunday // 13:13| views
Pope Francis blesses the world. Photo: BNT
Christians across the world celebrate Easter Sunday as this year the celebrations of all Christian denominations fall on the same date.
According to reports, 100 000 faithful from across the world gathered at St. Peter's square in the Vatican to hear Pope Francis' blessing Urbi Et Orbi – To The City and The World at noon.
On Saturday, during the Easter Vigil in the Vatican, the Pope urged the Christians to bring their faith "to the ends of the Earth".
During his Sunday blessing, Pope Francis prayed for peace in the world – in Syria and Iraq in particular, renewal of the peace talks between Israel and Palestine, end of violence in areas in Africa, reconciliation in Ukraine and Venezuela, mercy for the suffering and cure for the sick.
On Saturday night, during Easter mass in Sofia, Bulgaria's Patriarch Neophit blessed the Orthodox Bulgarians and urged to “do good within our powers and to give our modest, but considerable contribution to the reign of peace, truth, unity and love in this suffering world.”
Meanwhile, the addresses to the faithful by heads of Ukraine's and Russia's orthodox churches marked the hostile attitude between the two countries.
The head of Ukraine's Orthodox Church Patriarch Filaret accused Russia of "aggression" and "evil", while Russian Church Patriarch Kirill asked God to end the designs of those who wanted to rip apart Russia and Ukraine.
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