With candles, prayers, Orthodox Christians mark Easter
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With candles, prayers, Orthodox Christians mark Easter

Celebrations come a week after those of Roman Catholics and Protestants, who follow the Gregorian calendar

  • Coptic Pope Tawadros II, left, sits on the throne of Mar Morqos, during the Easter Eve service at St. Mark's Cathedral, in Cairo, Egypt, April 11, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Nariman El-Mofty)
    Coptic Pope Tawadros II, left, sits on the throne of Mar Morqos, during the Easter Eve service at St. Mark's Cathedral, in Cairo, Egypt, April 11, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Nariman El-Mofty)
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Easter service in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Ivan Sekretarev)
    Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Easter service in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Ivan Sekretarev)
  • Ethiopian Christian women walk during the Easter Eve service at St. Mark's Cathedral, in Cairo, Egypt, April 11, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Nariman El-Mofty)
    Ethiopian Christian women walk during the Easter Eve service at St. Mark's Cathedral, in Cairo, Egypt, April 11, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Nariman El-Mofty)
  • Macedonian Christian Orthodox Archbishop Stefan participates in a procession at St. Clement Christian Orthodox church in Macedonia's capital Skopje, during Easter service, April 12, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Boris Grdanoski)
    Macedonian Christian Orthodox Archbishop Stefan participates in a procession at St. Clement Christian Orthodox church in Macedonia's capital Skopje, during Easter service, April 12, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Boris Grdanoski)
  • Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, center back, lights candles in the begging of an Easter service in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
    Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, center back, lights candles in the begging of an Easter service in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
  • Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, center, conducts the Easter service in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
    Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, center, conducts the Easter service in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
  • A man ignites rockets during Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations on the eastern Aegean island of Chios, April 11, 2015. (photo credit: AP/ Petros Giannakouris)
    A man ignites rockets during Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations on the eastern Aegean island of Chios, April 11, 2015. (photo credit: AP/ Petros Giannakouris)

Across the world, Orthodox Christians were celebrating Easter on Sunday, commemorating the day followers believe Jesus was resurrected some 2,000 years ago.

Roman Catholics and Protestants marked Easter last Sunday, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter this Sunday using the older Julian calendar.

In Egypt, Coptic Christians marked Easter with midnight Mass, holding candles and praying. In Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and President Vladimir Putin attended an Easter Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

And on the eastern Aegean island of Chios, men fired off handmade rockets overnight to mark Easter as part of a traditional ceremony.

Thousands of Christian pilgrims filled Jerusalem’s ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Saturday for the “Holy Fire” ceremony on the eve of Orthodox Easter.

The pilgrims, mostly from eastern Europe but also Christian Arabs living in the Holy Land, swiftly passed the light on from candle to candle as it emerged from the church.

The flame is also flown out to Greece and other Orthodox countries.

Believers hold that a divine fire from heaven ignites candles held by the Greek Orthodox patriarch, in an annual rite dating back to the 4th century symbolizing the resurrection of Jesus.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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