Patriarchs and heads of churches of Jerusalem sent Easter greetings to their communities and to Christians around the world, a greeting that celebrates a renewal of hope, restoration and victory over all forms of death and destruction.
"The whole world at this time lives in a state of fear, anxiety, and ambiguity as it faces the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the message. "Many countries are facing so much loss and grief, and infected cases are on the rise.”
Jerusalem itself is empty of pilgrims and churches are awaiting worshippers to return.
“The observance of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter this year is surrounded by so many questions, complexities, and uncertainties, especially in light of the suffering, illness, and death of so many people around the globe, resulting in the current lockdown,” reflects the message. “What does this coronavirus challenge mean to our people, communities, and institutions?”
The message also reflects that God is the God of the living and not of the dead. “The Resurrection is our assurance that even in the midst of death and suffering, God is there and Christ’s death gives us the victory,” the message reads. “Our mission as Christians and as human beings is to support each other and to continue to pray for all people during this pandemic.”