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Easter celebrations around the world

Latest update : 2008-03-25

Pope Benedict XVI pronounced his traditional "urbi et orbi" blessing from the St Peter's basilica in Rome on Sunday. The Christian holy date is also an occasion for celebration throughout the Middle East. (Report: C. Moore)

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday urged "solutions that will safeguard peace and the common good" in Tibet, the Middle East and Africa during his traditional Easter message.
   
"How can we fail to remember certain African regions, such as Darfur and Somalia, the tormented Middle East, especially the Holy Land, Iraq, Lebanon, and finally Tibet, all of whom I encourage to seek solutions that will safeguard peace and the common good!" the pope said in his "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) message.
   
Speaking as pilgrims in St Peter's Square braved a steady rain, the head of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics wished that "the light that streams forth from this solemn day (may) shine forth in every part of the world."
   
Easter Sunday celebrates the Resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion on Good Friday.
   
On Wednesday the pope broke his silence on the crisis in Tibet, calling for for an end to violence there and urging "dialogue and tolerance."
   
Beijing brushed off the appeal, according to Italian press reports that quoted foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang as saying Thursday: "Supposed tolerance cannot exist for criminals who should be punished by the law."
   
Following the "urbi et orbi" message, the pope offered Easter greetings in 63 languages to the tens of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square and millions of viewers in 67 countries around the world.

Date created : 2008-03-23

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