Christians mark Easter at Jesus’ resurrection site
• Christians, Muslims celebrate together in Kaduna
• Fun-seekers troop to Badagry
Thousands of Christians yesterday marked Jesus’s resurrection on Easter Sunday at the Jerusalem site where they believe the miracle occurred, with some prostrating themselves over his tomb and leaving in tears.
Visitors and worshippers filed through the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built on the site where tradition says Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
It was the first Easter since the unveiling in March of renovations to the ornate, 19th-century shrine covering Jesus’ tomb following a $3.7-million project that restored its stones to their original reddish-yellow and reinforced the heavily visited site.
This year’s holiday also fell on the same date for both Western and Eastern Christians, an irregular occurrence since they follow different calendars. Masses were staggered throughout the day for the various denominations that co-exist, often uneasily, in the church in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The pilgrims rubbed clothing, veils and even took pictures on mobile phones against the shrine over the tomb and the stone where Jesus’ body was anointed after his crucifixion.
In Nigeria, Muslims and Christians on Saturday met in Kaduna State to mark Easter, as part of efforts to promote unity, tolerance and understanding among members of different faiths in the state. The event, organised by Pastor Yohanna Buru, attracted a huge crowd including clerics, traditional and community leaders.
Buru, the General Overseer of Christ Evangelical Intercessory Fellowship, Sabon Tasha, said Nigerians must team up irrespective of differences to overcome social and economic challenges retarding growth and development.
“We must unite in order to find means of ending all forms of ethno-religious and political crises that set us backward. We don’t want relative peace but lasting peace that will come to stay in Northern Nigeria, Nigeria and in Africa.
“We are not asking anyone to compromise his or her faith, but if we can understand one another, we will live in peace and harmony with every citizen, so as to make Nigeria great again.”
The District Head of Ungwan Muazu, Ahmed Aliyu, commended Buru for his unrelenting pursuit of peace in the state. Similarly, Gambo Abdullahi, an Islamic scholar, appealed to government to address the problems of cattle rustling, armed robbery, banditry, kidnapping and rape.
Meanwhile, fun-seekers yesterday trooped to the Suntan Beach and the Whispering Palms Resort, both in Badagry, to celebrate Easter with their loved ones. Both locations were a beehive of activities, as people from various parts of the country came around with friends and family members.
Mr. Olaitan Akinsanya, at the beach, said the Easter break was an opportunity to spend quality time with his family. “I have been looking forward to this period for me to spend time with my family. This is my first time of coming to the beach and I must confess, it is a serene and cool place,” he said.
Mr. Deji Femi-Pearce, chairman of the Whispering Palm Resort, Iworo, Badagry, said the large turnout was attributed to the various activities the resort had to offer.
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