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Orthodox Christians Celebrate Easter

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, center, conducts the Easter service in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2015.

Orthodox Christians around the world are celebrating Easter Sunday.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his family observed Orthodox Easter services at St. Volodymyr Cathedral in the capital, Kyiv.

Ukrainian Patriarch Filaret prayed for peace and said "we are strongly convinced that God will send us victory over the aggressor," in a reference to Russia, which annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March of last year is is largely seen as fueling the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, which to date has claimed more than 6,000 lives.

"This year Ukraine is celebrating Easter in conditions of an undeclared war in Donbas (a reference to Ukraine's eastern industrial region). But we are strongly convinced that God will send us a victory over the aggressor, because the truth is on our side," he said.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attended services in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Easter marks the day Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead after his crucifixion and entombment more than 2,000 years ago.

Roman Catholics and Protestants observed Easter last Sunday.

Easter dates are set each year by Eastern and Western Churches based on differing computations involving the dates of the Jewish Passover and the vernal equinox.

Some information for this report came from AP.

An earlier version of this article mistakenly claimed that "Roman Catholics and Protestants observed Easter last Sunday, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar." As mentioned above, Easter date computations are not based on the Gregorian or Julian calendars. VOA regrets the error.

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