Christians celebrate Easter in Jerusalem and Vatican City

JERUSALEM/ VATICAN CITY (AP) - Christians from around the world are celebrating Easter Sunday in Jerusalem, marking the day of Jesus' resurrection in the holy city two millennia ago.

Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics held ceremonies at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, revered as the site of Jesus' crucifixion and burial and of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. The different calendars of the churches coincide this year. Clergymen in ornate robes held processions through the ancient building, where the ceremonies of each church are carefully coordinated to avoid conflicts.

Protestants held their own Easter ceremonies outside the walled Old City at the Garden Tomb, which some identify as the site of Jesus' burial. Preachers spoke in English and rock bands accompanied worshippers in song.

Pope Benedict's Easter Sunday message at the Vatican includes a call for an end to fighting in Libya and for diplomacy there.

Benedict says politics in North Africa and the Middle East should be based on respect for all. He also said those "who suffer as a result of the conflict be given access to humanitarian aid."

St. Peter's Square was packed for Easter Sunday services as Benedict celebrated before tens of thousands of people. He has a big week this week too, with the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

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