Western Christians celebrate Easter

Sent On: 
Sun, 2024-03-31
Newsletter Number: 

We would like to wish all our readers who are celebrating Easter according to the Western/Gregorian calendar a blessed Easter Sunday. Following the Roman Catholic Church and most Protestant churches, most Christians celebrate Easter today. In Egypt, however, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the vast majority of other Christians follow the Eastern/Julian calendar which celebrates Easter on the weekend of May 3rd - 6fh. In his homily, Pope Francis spoke of the resurrection of Christ which brings new life and hope and the many painful conflicts in the world which bring death and despair. About Israel/Palestine and Russia/Ukraine, he expressed the following: 

        My thoughts go especially to the victims of the many conflicts worldwide, beginning         with those in Israel and Palestine, and in Ukraine. May the risen Christ open a path of         peace for the war-torn peoples of those regions.  In calling for respect for the principles         of  international law, I express my hope for a general exchange of all prisoners between         Russia and Ukraine: all for the sake of all!

        I appeal once again that access to humanitarian aid be ensured to Gaza, and call once         more for the prompt release of the hostages seized on 7 October last and for an         immediate cease-fire in the Strip.

        Let us not allow the current hostilities to continue to have grave repercussions on the         civil population, by now at the limit of its endurance, and above all on the children.         How much suffering we see in the eyes of the children: the children in those lands at         war have forgotten how to smile! With those eyes, they ask us: Why? Why all this         death? Why all this destruction?  War is always an absurdity, war is always a defeat!         Let us not allow the strengthening winds of war to blow on Europe and the         Mediterranean. Let us not yield to the logic of weapons and rearming. Peace is never         made with arms, but with outstretched hands and open hearts.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivered his homily from Canterbury Cathedral in southeast England. Photos of Easter from around the world can be found here.

In Egypt, we have entered the last ten days of the month of Ramaḍān, a time of increased spiritual focus and generosity for Muslims. For one Muslim leader’s perspective on the last ten days of Ramaḍān, please see this brief talk from Omar Suleiman of the Yaqeen Institute.   


All the very best,


Matthew Anderson

Director - Center for Arab-West Understanding

Executive Editor - Dialogue Across Borders (Brill) 

March 31st, 2024