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Orthodox Christians Mark Easter Under Corona Lockdown
A view from inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. (Creative Commons)

Orthodox Christians Mark Easter Under Corona Lockdown

Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter in Jerusalem on Sunday, but only a handful of priests were able to hold mass in the otherwise empty Church of the Holy Sepulchre due to restrictions to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. The church has been closed to the public since late March, halfway through the penitential season of Lent. Eastern Orthodox Christianity marks the day that Jesus is believed to have been resurrected after his crucifixion a week later than Catholic and Protestant Christianity celebrate the holy day. The church contains, according to traditions dating back to at least the fourth century, the sites of the crucifixion and Jesus’ tomb, and in most years, it would be filled with pilgrims and tourists, but Israeli travel restrictions have prevented their arrival and limited the gathering of worshippers. Israel reports more than 13,362 COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths. The Palestinian Authority, which also claims east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, has seen 431 confirmed coronavirus infections and two deaths. “The world today became united, east and west, to combat this pandemic. What I wish is that after we overcome this pandemic, we should unite to defend human morals and values,” said Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna after the traditional Washing of the Feet ceremony on Thursday. On Saturday, a small group of clerics celebrated the Holy Fire ceremony, which normally draws huge crowds.

Did you know we’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary as the 1st American News Agency exclusively covering the Middle East?

  • The Middle East landscape is changing rapidly.
  • The roads in the region open to new possibilities.
  • The Media Line continues to pave the way to a far greater understanding of the region’s land, people, policies and governments through our trusted, fact-based news.

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Please make your gift today as we have a most generous matching 2:1 grant.
Thank you!

We paved the way to be the Trusted Mid East News you can rely on!

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

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