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Christians Around The World Gather To Celebrate Easter; Mourn Sri Lanka Attacks : NPR


Christian faithful of the Legio Maria African Mission church hold candles as they attend the Easter vigil mass in their church in Fort Jesus area of Nairobi, Kenya April 20, 2019.

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Christian faithful of the Legio Maria African Mission church hold candles as they attend the Easter vigil mass in their church in Fort Jesus area of Nairobi, Kenya April 20, 2019.

Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Christians around the world gathered on Sunday to mark the end of Holy Week and celebrate Easter.

Festivities took on many forms. While some worshipers reenacted the Passion of the Christ, others gathered for candle-lit services or colorful processions.

For many Christians, this year’s holiday was a more somber affair. In Paris, the fire the engulfed Notre Dame this past week forced worshipers to find other places to attend services. In Sri Lanka, celebrations were shattered Sunday morning with a series of explosions that ripped through multiple churches and hotels, killing more than 200 people and injuring hundreds more.

Speaking at the Vatican, Pope Francis addressed the tragedy and the lives lost.

“I want to express my loving closeness to the Christian community, targeted while they were gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence,” the Pope said. “I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured and all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event.”

The Pope also spoke about conflicts in other areas of the world and urged leaders to work together to find peaceful resolutions.

Pope Francis waves to the crowd after celebrating Ester Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Sunday, April 21, 2019.

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Pope Francis waves to the crowd after celebrating Ester Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Sunday, April 21, 2019.

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An aerial picture showing sawdust rugs decorating a street in the Brazilian historic city of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais State, on April 21, 2019 before an Easter procession representing the resurrection of Christ. The streets are decorated by locals and tourists who use about 60 tons of colored sawdust.

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An aerial picture showing sawdust rugs decorating a street in the Brazilian historic city of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais State, on April 21, 2019 before an Easter procession representing the resurrection of Christ. The streets are decorated by locals and tourists who use about 60 tons of colored sawdust.

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Syriac Orthodox pilgrims carry palm branches during the Palm Sunday procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 21, 2019.

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Syriac Orthodox pilgrims carry palm branches during the Palm Sunday procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 21, 2019.

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A relative of a Sri Lankan victim of an explosion at a church weeps outside a hospital in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019.

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A relative of a Sri Lankan victim of an explosion at a church weeps outside a hospital in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019.

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Pakistani Christians in Karachi light candles to pay tribute to victims of the Sri Lankan attacks on April 21, 2019.

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Pakistani Christians in Karachi light candles to pay tribute to victims of the Sri Lankan attacks on April 21, 2019.

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Residents dress up with colorful local version of Roman soldiers as they celebrate Easter Sunday on April 21, 2019 in Mogpog in Marinduque, Philippines.

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Residents dress up with colorful local version of Roman soldiers as they celebrate Easter Sunday on April 21, 2019 in Mogpog in Marinduque, Philippines.

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An Armenian Orthodox Christian woman kisses the cross during the Easter mass at a church in the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishli in northeastern Syria on April 21, 2019.

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An Armenian Orthodox Christian woman kisses the cross during the Easter mass at a church in the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishli in northeastern Syria on April 21, 2019.

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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is presented with flowers as she leaves after attending the Easter Mattins Service at St. George’s Chapel on April 21, 2019 in Windsor, England.

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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is presented with flowers as she leaves after attending the Easter Mattins Service at St. George’s Chapel on April 21, 2019 in Windsor, England.

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Christian devotees reenact the Way of the Cross, or Jesus Christ’s passion, during a Good Friday commemoration in the Kibera slum of Nairobi on April 19, 2019.

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Christian devotees reenact the Way of the Cross, or Jesus Christ’s passion, during a Good Friday commemoration in the Kibera slum of Nairobi on April 19, 2019.

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A general view shows people attending Mass in tribute to the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral at the Saint Eustache church in Paris on Easter Sunday.

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A general view shows people attending Mass in tribute to the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral at the Saint Eustache church in Paris on Easter Sunday.

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A member of the faithful takes part in the procession of the Via Crucis in Managua, Nicaragua on April 19, 2019.

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A member of the faithful takes part in the procession of the Via Crucis in Managua, Nicaragua on April 19, 2019.

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Armenian priests wave censers as Bishop Sivan, second from the left, looks on during the Palm Sunday procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 21, 2019.

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Armenian priests wave censers as Bishop Sivan, second from the left, looks on during the Palm Sunday procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 21, 2019.

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Worshipers gather to follow Pope Francis celebrating Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

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Worshipers gather to follow Pope Francis celebrating Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

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A Christ Crucified and statues of the Passion of the Christ are carried during the traditional Easter Procession of the Mysteries (Processione Dei Misteri) in Trapani, Sicily, on April 20, 2019.

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A Christ Crucified and statues of the Passion of the Christ are carried during the traditional Easter Procession of the Mysteries (Processione Dei Misteri) in Trapani, Sicily, on April 20, 2019.

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Worshippers queue to attend the Notre Dame Easter Mass at the church of St Eustache in Paris. Notre Dame’s Easter service was held at the nearby St. Eustache church following the devastating fire that caused extensive damage to the historic landmark.

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Worshippers queue to attend the Notre Dame Easter Mass at the church of St Eustache in Paris. Notre Dame’s Easter service was held at the nearby St. Eustache church following the devastating fire that caused extensive damage to the historic landmark.

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Pope Francis holds an altar candle as he arrives to preside over the Easter Vigil on April 20, 2019 at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

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Pope Francis holds an altar candle as he arrives to preside over the Easter Vigil on April 20, 2019 at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

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