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Thousands Celebrate Easter in Holy Land

Updated: 04/20/2014 8:15 AM
Created: 04/20/2014 7:25 AM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart

Thousands of pilgrims from around the world are celebrating Easter in the Holy Land, commemorating the day when according to Christian tradition Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem two millennia ago.
    
Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal led Mass at the Holy Sepulcher church in Jerusalem on Sunday. The site is where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
    
In the West Bank town of Bethlehem, worshippers prayed and lit candles at the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.
    
Easter was also celebrated in Gaza where less than three thousand Christians live among about 1.7 million Muslims.
    
Christian communities in the Holy Land, as well as elsewhere in the Middle East, have been declining in recent years due to regional turmoil.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Christian pilgrims hold candles at the church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, during the ceremony of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday.
Photo: AP/Dan Balilty

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