Pope holds Easter service at St Peter's Basilica behind closed doors amid Coronavirus pandemic

'Be Messenger of life in a time of death,' he said

Pope Francis celebrated Sunday Easter at St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City behind closed doors. He gave his Easter Sunday address at a ceremony behind closed doors which usually is given to crowds in St Peter's Square. Less number of priests were gathered at the church while very few worshippers collected in the inner courtyard. Events of this year's holy week will take place without public.

According to the BBC, more than 70,000 people participated in Easter celebration from around the world last year. Italy, that is the most affected country in Europe in terms of deaths remains closed due to the lockdown as the entrance to the Vatican has been sealed by the authorities.

Pope Francis addressed the world's 1.3 billion Catholic community through live stream saying not to "yield to fear" over coronavirus by directing them as "messengers of life in a time of death." "Do not be afraid, do not yield to fear: this is the message of hope. It is addressed to us today," he said.

Representational image

Christians celebrate Easter inside homes as there is tight security outside

Christians also watched the service through live stream performed by the leader of Roman Catholic Church on Saturday evening at almost empty St Peter's Basilica. Despite hundreds of millions of people are confined inside their homes, Christians around the world are still celebrating holy Sunday Easter.

According to Reuters, he praised the efforts made by doctors and nurses who saved the lives of others by risking their own life. He also praised authorities and service providers who kept working hard to keep essential services ongoing. He said that the whole world needs to be united to face the pandemic as this is not the time for indifference.

Francis expressed his condolences for those who could not receive a farewell from their loved ones due to the restrictions. He said that this is the time to avoid "self-centredness" for government and politicians. "Indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words forever!" he said. Instead, they should take measures and decisions that will help the population get back to their normal lives.

Related topics : Coronavirus