News / Europe

Christians Worldwide Prepare for Easter

Christians Worldwide Prepare For Easteri
X
March 30, 2013 5:01 PM
Many Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate Easter this Sunday. It is the central holiday of the Christian faith, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The eyes of the faithful will be turned to the Vatican where the new pope, selected just this month, presides over a series of Holy Week events. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Christians Worldwide Prepare For Easter
Zlatica Hoke
Many Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate Easter this Sunday.  It is the central holiday of the Christian faith, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The eyes of the faithful will be turned to the Vatican where the new pope, selected just this month, presides over a series of Holy Week events. 

The pontiff will lead the Easter Vigil service late Saturday and deliver his holiday address and traditional blessing on Sunday.

Christians from all over the world have flocked to Italy during the Holy Week with hopes of seeing the first Latin American pope. 

"I came here with my whole family to see the new pope," said Marie-Cruz-Perez,  a Spanish tourist. "We are thrilled with the new pope, who we think is a marvellous person, and we are going to sit here on the ground and try to catch a glimpse of him if we can."

Pope Francis has signaled a new era of humility and service for the Roman Catholic church, rattled by scandal and allegations of internal conflict in recent years. 

Pope Francis washes the foot of a prisoner at Casal del Marmo youth prison in Rome March 28, 2013.Pope Francis washes the foot of a prisoner at Casal del Marmo youth prison in Rome March 28, 2013.
x
Pope Francis washes the foot of a prisoner at Casal del Marmo youth prison in Rome March 28, 2013.
Pope Francis washes the foot of a prisoner at Casal del Marmo youth prison in Rome March 28, 2013.
On Thursday, the pontiff washed the feet of 12 inmates of a juvenile detention center in Rome, and on Friday he began the evening mass at the Vatican by prostrating himself in front of the altar.

His preacher, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, indicated that the church is ready for some adjustments.  

"[The church is] like certain old buildings that over the centuries adapt to current needs and become filled with partitions, staircases, rooms and closets," he said.  "The times come when we realize that all these adjustments no longer meet the current needs, but rather are obstacle.  So we must have the courage to knock them down and return the building to the simplicity and linearity of its origins."

Pope Francis attends the Celebration of the Lord's Passion in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 29, 2013.Pope Francis attends the Celebration of the Lord's Passion in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 29, 2013.
x
Pope Francis attends the Celebration of the Lord's Passion in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 29, 2013.
Pope Francis attends the Celebration of the Lord's Passion in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 29, 2013.
Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, commemorates the day that the body of Jesus Christ was laid in the tomb.  On Friday, the faithful observed Jesus's death on the cross.  Many traveled to Jerusalem to follow the route they believe Jesus walked carrying his cross to the place of his crucifixion.   

"It touches people's hearts because they see something that they heard about, that all the church is about, and that's Jesus dying for us, and then being put in a tomb, only to rise again," said James Joseph, a christian from the United States.

Eastern Orthodox Christians who follow the old Julian calendar observe Easter on May 5 this year.

You May Like

Russian Help on Iran Less Promising on Syria, Ukraine

US-Russian collaboration to secure a deal on Iran's nuclear program has raised hopes of closer cooperation on other world issues More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

US-Ethiopia Relationship Strong, But Complicated

While Ethiopia serves as a valuable security ally and a bulwark against terrorism - the U.S., is a major aid donor and economic stimulator More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backersi
X
Michael Bowman
July 26, 2015 8:44 PM
Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Underground Streetcar Station In Washington, DC, to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Rise in HIV Infections Worries Ugandan Officials

Uganda had the third-highest number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa last year, reversing its reputation for successfully tackling the epidemic in the 1990s. Although the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS is still half of what it was in the 1980s, the increase in new infections is worrying to health workers. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs