News / Europe

Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pope Francis incenses the faithful as he arrives to celebrate an Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sunday, April 20, 2014.
Pope Francis incenses the faithful as he arrives to celebrate an Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sunday, April 20, 2014.
VOA News
Pope Francis prayed for peace in Ukraine and Syria as he celebrated Easter Mass on Sunday at the steps of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
 
The pope, head of the Roman Catholic Church, prayed for all those involved in the conflict in Ukraine to "make every effort to prevent violence." In Syria, he prayed for "peace that is long awaited and long overdue."
 
He also called for an end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
 
Pope Francis spoke to thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square for the annual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, one of Christianity's most prominent holidays.
 
In Ukraine, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk attended church with his family and called on Ukrainians to unite and "resurrect."
 
Christians also packed churches in Iraq and Syria to pray for peace.
 
British royalty - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - attended Easter service in Australia at Saint Andrew's Anglican cathedral in Sydney.
 
Before they left, William and Kate signed the First Fleet Bible, a King James edition the first fleet of European settlers and convicts brought to Australia in 1788.
 
The Bible had been previously signed by Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
 
At an Orthodox Christian Easter service in troubled Ukraine, which is locked in conflict with Russia, Kyiv Patriarch Filaret called Russia an "enemy" whose attack on Ukraine is doomed to fail. 
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attended a Russian Orthodox Easter service at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow where Patriarch Kirill led prayers for Russians in Ukraine and called for an "end to the designs of those who want to destroy Holy Russia."
 
Worshippers gathered Saturday night in Bethlehem for the traditional Easter vigil at the Church of Saint Catherine, adjacent to the Church of the Nativity. 
 
The church is one of the most visited shrines of Christianity and stands above the grotto where Christians believe Jesus was born.
 
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, foreground left, attends the Easter service in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, April 20, 2014. 
  • An Orthodox priest blesses traditional Easter cakes and painted eggs prepared for Easter celebrations in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra church (Cave Monastery), Kyiv, Ukraine, April 20, 2014. 
  • Pope Francis gives the thumb up as he leads the Easter mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, April 20, 2014. 
  • Pope Francis waves as he leads the Easter mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, April 20, 2014. 
  • A Ukrainian Orthodox priest sprinkles holy water on worshippers outside a regional government building during Easter in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, April 20, 2014. 
  • Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge prepare to sign the First Fleet Bible and Prayer Book following Easter Sunday Service at St. Andrews Cathedral in Sydney, April 20, 2014. 
  • Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, meets members of the cathedral choir following an Easter Sunday service at St. Andrews Cathedral in Sydney, April 20, 2014. 
  • Temperate weather on Easter Sunday brought large crowds to view the Orchid Symphony exhibit, U.S. Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C., April 20, 2014. (Elizabeth Pfotzer/VOA)
  • Philippine Coast Guard personnel stay beside people swimming just outside the U.S. Embassy as they celebrate Easter Sunday, Manila, Philippines, April 20, 2014. 
  • Spencer Slate, garbed as a scuba-diving Easter bunny, places hard-boiled eggs on the sea floor 2014, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo, Florida, April 18, 2014. 

You May Like

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John Stefanyszyn from: Canada
April 21, 2014 2:17 PM
"Pope Francis" (Jorge Bergoglio), you celebrate the resurrection of Christ under the name of a pagan goddess...so be it.

However, if you say that Christ is resurrected, that He is real today, that He is the Living Son of the Only Creator....why then do you confess that it is RIGHT to be FREE to worship ANY 'god' / belief...since there is no other?

John Stefanyszyn
...a bondman of the living Lord & King Jesus Christ, Son of the One Creator

by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
April 20, 2014 10:59 PM
I request Pop Francis to use his influnce to stop West and USA to supply weapons to world Famous Terrorist Al Qaida and its branch in Syria. I know the interest of USA in Syria against its deadly weapond to Terrorist to get FREE oil from Saudi Arabia. I request all Suppliers to Terrorist to read their religious books,whether GOD will be happy by our acts. Show me one religious book where GOD will be happy with our acts to supply weapons and money to kill innocent peoples,destroy their life completely.If answer is big no then do not supply weapons to terrorist for the sack of money. We do not know whether we will get time to enjoy with that money or not. So please do no burn your hand with human blood for the sake of money or free oil from Saudi Arabia.

by: meanbill from: USA
April 20, 2014 11:25 AM
Has anybody noticed that the most religious tolerant and diverse countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, are now religious battlefields in the last (5) years -- (OR?) -- since that man who came to power bowed to the king, of the most repressive and intolerant religious country in the entire world?
STRANGE isn't it? -- why these countries that allowed and supported religious freedoms are now under attack from religious fanatics, (and) that one who rose to power and bowed to the king, hasn't done a thing that the king didn't approve of?

by: leonidas from: ca
April 20, 2014 9:47 AM
Pope Francis has the right message for people of all faiths, "Can everyone just get along".

by: bb from: andover
April 20, 2014 9:21 AM
most russians aren't catholic- (and there's a difference) so this may not happen- unlike other countries bordering it (aka poland) who are very leary right now of this

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs