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Christians Celebrate Easter Amid Calls For Hope, Unity

Christians in Nigeria and across the world are celebrating Easter, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

The celebrations represent the culmination of the Holy Week which starts with the observance of Palm Sunday to mark the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

To mark Easter, Christians thronged churches for special services, prayers and thanksgiving.

In its Easter message, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said Easter called for celebration despite the challenges bedeviling the country.

“Is there anything that calls for celebration in all these things we are facing? Yes, there is. Nothing is worse than death!” CAN President Reverend Samson Ayokunle said.

“If Jesus died and was buried, putting his disciples in the greatest state of disappointment and sorrow but afterward rose from the dead, then, Nigeria is going to be great again.

“This nation will rise from all the challenges we are facing and we Nigerians are going to rejoice and be proud of our nation again in the name of Jesus Christ.”

President Muhammadu Buhari, governors and leaders called for unity in their Easter messages, especially as it comes about eight months to the 2023 general elections.

“As we approach another season of electioneering, let the security and unity of the nation guide our actions and utterances,” Buhari said in a statement on Thursday.

“This period emboldens us to believe that the current spate of uncertainty and insecurity will soon unfold a season of the triumph of good over evil; hope over despair, and light over darkness.”

On Friday, as Christians marked Good Friday, Pope Francis used the occasion to call for peace in Ukraine.

The Pope spoke when thousands of Christian attended the “Way of the Cross” prayer service, which he presided over at Rome’s Colosseum.

Pope Francis, who has repeatedly condemned the conflict in Ukraine, and has called for an Easter ceasefire, prayed that the “adversaries shake hands” and “taste mutual forgiveness”.

“Disarm the raised hand of brother against brother,” he said.

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