Christian pilgrims light candles during the Easter Sunday procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many Christians to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem, Sunday, April 16, 2017. Millions of Christians around the world are celebrating Easter commemorating the day when according to Christian tradition Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Christians celebrate Easter across conflict-torn Mideast

April 16, 2017 - 8:29 am

JERUSALEM (AP) — Christians are celebrating Easter across the Middle East, where many are struggling to maintain their embattled communities in the face of war, terrorism and discrimination.

Thousands of worshippers flocked to Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified and resurrected.

This year the holiday was celebrated on the same day by both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox worshippers. The denominations, which jealously guard different sections of the church, held separate services one after another Sunday.

Egypt's Coptic Christians meanwhile marked a somber Easter a week after twin bombings by the Islamic State group killed dozens of worshippers.

Many of Iraq's Christians observed the holiday in camps for the displaced after fleeing IS and the operation to drive the militants from Mosul.

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