First lady Michelle Obama having fun with visitors to the White House Easter Egg roll

Obama hosts Easter Egg roll

U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have hosted the 136th annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

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Easter celebrated across Ukraine

Ukrainian Orthodox priests conduct a holy liturgy during an Orthodox Easter service in Mikhailovsky Cathedral in Kiev.
Ukrainian Orthodox priests conduct a holy liturgy during an Orthodox Easter service in Mikhailovsky Cathedral in Kiev. Credit: Reuters

Despite the splits in the country Christians across Ukraine have been celebrating a traditional Easter. Candlelight vigils, Easter baskets and blessings have been given at churches and cathedrals.

Read the latest on the situation in Ukraine here

Ukrainian Orthodox worshippers attend a holy liturgy during an Orthodox Easter service in Donetsk.
Ukrainian Orthodox worshippers attend a holy liturgy during an Orthodox Easter service in Donetsk. Credit: Reuters

See more Easter celebrations from around the world

A girl walks past an installation made of Easter eggs in Kiev.
A girl walks past an installation made of Easter eggs in Kiev. Credit: Reuters

Pope leads Easter celebrations across the world

Pope Francis on led Easter rites commemorating what Christians believe was Jesus' resurrection from the dead and urged people to rediscover direction in their lives. Celebrations took place across the globe from Canada to Ukraine.

Pope Francis lifts up the chalice as he leads a vigil mass during Easter celebrations at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican Credit: Reuters
Parishioners take part in the outdoor resurrection matins candlelight service in Saskatoon, Alberta Credit: Reuters
Ukrainian Orthodox priests conduct a holy liturgy during an Orthodox Easter service in Mikhailovsky Cathedral in Kiev Credit: Reuters

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Archbishop to highlight suffering from conflicts

The Archbishop of Canterbury will use his Easter sermon to highlight the hardship of people suffering from conflict around the world and in Britain.

Speaking later today from Canterbury Cathedral, Archbishop Justin Welby will say: "In Syria mothers cry for their children and husbands. In the Ukraine neighbours cry because the future is precarious and dangerous. In Rwanda tears are still shed each day as the horror of genocide is remembered.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby Credit: PA

"In this country, even as the economy improves there is weeping in broken families, in people ashamed to seek help from food banks, or frightened by debt. Asylum seekers weep with loneliness and missing far away families. Mary continues to weep across the world", he will say.

Delivering only his second Easter message since becoming head of the Church of England, the Most Rev Justin Welby will also praise the resilience of persecuted Christian minorities around the globe.

Read: Justin Welby speaks of gay marriage struggle

Holy fire ceremony draws thousands to shrine

Worshippers hold candles as they take part in the Christian Orthodox Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen

Christianity's holiest shrine was lit up with the flames of thousands of candles today as worshippers celebrated the holy fire ceremony, a key spiritual event in Orthodox Easter rites.

Some Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected at the site where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher now stands in the Old City of Jerusalem

Worshippers hold candles as they take part in the Christian Orthodox Holy Fire ceremony. Credit: Reuters

The source of the holy fire is a closely guarded secret but believers say the flame appears spontaneously from his tomb on the day before Easter to show Jesus has not forgotten his followers.

The ritual dates back at least 1,200 years.

Good Friday processions take place across world

Good Friday has been celebrated across the world today with events taking place from Paraguay to Germany to the UK.

Catholics, holding up lit candles and a statue of The Virgin of Sorrows, participate in a "Via Crucis" (Way of the Cross) in Paraguay Credit: Reuters
People gather during the Good Friday procession in Wuppertal, Germany. Credit: CAROLINE SEIDEL/dpa
Pilgrims cross from Beal sands to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Pictures: Crowds gather for Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square

Good Friday celebrations held across the world

Good Friday has been celebrated across the world today with events taking place from Paris to Jerusalem to Valencia.

Pilgrims attend the annual Good Friday "Stations of the Cross" procession in Paris. Credit: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Penitents carry a crucifix on the beach of Valencia. Credit: REUTERS/Heino Kalis
Worshippers are silhouetted during a procession in Jerusalem's Old City. Credit: REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Pictures: Crowds gather for Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square

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Crowds gather for Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square

An actor playing Jesus walks through the crowd in London's Trafalgar Square Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Crowds gathered today to watch a Good Friday re-enactment of the Passion of Jesus in central London's Trafalgar Square.

Roman soldiers lift the cross carrying a bloodied Jesus Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Actors from the Wintershall Players, a troupe based in Surrey, played the parts of Jesus and the two robbers crucified alongside him, along with several Roman soldiers.

Actors playing Jesus and two robbers take part in the re-enactment of the crucifixion Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Cheers and tears at 135th White House Easter Egg Roll

President Barack Obama kicked off the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The President was joined by his wife Michelle, daughters, Malia and Sasha, the Easter bunny and Robbie Novak aka 'Kid President'.

'Kid President'  Robbie Novak joins the First Family on the White House lawn
'Kid President' Robbie Novak joins the First Family on the White House lawn Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Watch: White House April Fools 'message from the President'

The tradition to invite public to the South lawn of the White House was started 135 years ago by then President Rutherford Hayes and his wife Lucy.

President Obama consoles Donovan Frazier, 5, who lost during his easter egg roll event on the South Lawn of the White House
President Obama consoles Donovan Frazier, 5, who lost during his easter egg roll event on the South Lawn of the White House Credit: Reuters

Watch: The White House Easter Egg Roll event lice video stream

Obamas celebrate Easter

The Obama family walk to the Easter service at St John's Church
The Obama family walk to the Easter service at St John's Church Credit: REUTERS/Jeff Mason

Barack Obama and his family have attended a special Easter service at St John's Episcopal Church in Washington. The first family walked from the White House to attend the service.

U.S. President Barack Obama  and his daughter Malia walk out with Rev. Luis Leon
U.S. President Barack Obama and his daughter Malia walk out with Rev. Luis Leon Credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Christians celebrate Easter

Easter Sunday represents a new beginning for Christians, but today had an even stronger sense of renewal for Anglicans and Catholics.

Both have new leaders just settling into their roles and it's today that their messages tend to reach the widest audience of the year.

Martha Fairlie reports on a warning from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope's plea for peace.

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