World News

    Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

    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, which is 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 many 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. 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora