Christians celebrate Easter across conflict-torn Mideast

Recently I was asked what determines when we celebrate Easter Sunday?

In Istanbul Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, led hundreds of worshipers at a midnight liturgy to celebrate Easter during the Easter Resurrection Service outside the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George.

"We didn't come here because we were supposed to come on Easter Sunday, we came for an encounter with the most high God", Reverend Brian Edmunds said. "You know that barrier breaks free and new life comes out".

Hundreds of Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus at the 72nd Annual Easter Sunrise Service at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

"Welcome the love of God into your life", Cardinal DiNardo said.

Chad: For the people that don't know what does Easter commemorate? 9 Just then Jesus met them and said, "Good morning!"

Christians celebrated Easter on Sunday across the Middle East, where many are struggling to maintain their embattled communities in the face of war, religious violence and discrimination. During the Easter season Jesus is highlighted more by churches than at any other time of year other than maybe Christmas.

"It's the most important day in our religion", she said. Abhishek Patrick, director of Jesus and Mary Academy, said after the prayer service they started preparing for lavishing feast with families and friends. Those women who were at the cross kept watch, hoping for a miracle not realizing the resurrection of Christ would be the greatest miracle ever for the whole human race.

It's just one day in the calendar year, but a day that affects us in every way, which is one more reason I really love Easter.

Iraqi Assyrians attend Easter mass at Mar Youssif Chaldean Church in Baghdad Sunday, April 16, 2017. Jesus was blameless and lived a sinless life, a life that was ideal and a life that you and I could never live. For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Christ has risen indeed.

One of the main attractions of this festival is the gift of Easter Eggs, made of chocolates, given especially to children.

Chad: What is your favorite part of this time of year? "So we celebrate and mark the day with fellowship".