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In Pictures: Millions of Orthodox Christians Celebrate Easter

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Millions of Orthodox Christians around the world have celebrated Easter in overnight services and “holy fire” from Jerusalem.

This year the Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on the same Sunday when Roman Catholics and Protestants mark the holy festival. The Western Christian church follows the Gregorian calendar, while the Eastern Orthodox uses the older Julian calendar. The two Easters are often weeks apart.

In predominantly Orthodox Romania, Patriarch Daniel urged Christians to bring joy to “orphans, the sick, the elderly the poor… and the lonely.” Late Saturday, Orthodox cleric transported the holy light from Jerusalem by plane and it was then flown to other churches around the country.

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attends an Orthodox Easter service in St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, April 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

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Ukrainian Orthodox faithful light candles from the Holy Fire brought from Jerusalem in St. Volodymyr Cathedral during the ceremony of the Holy Fire in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, April 15, 2017. The Holy Fire ceremony is part of Orthodox Easter rituals and the flame symbolizes the resurrection of Christ in a ceremony dating back to the 12th century. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

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Ukrainian Orthodox believers attend an Orthodox Easter service in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra church, also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, in the capital city of Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

Ukrainian Orthodox believers attend an Orthodox Easter service in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra church, also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, in the capital city of Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

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Ukrainian Orthodox faithful light candles from the Holy Fire brought from Jerusalem in St. Volodymyr Cathedral during the ceremony of the Holy Fire in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, April 15, 2017. The Holy Fire ceremony is part of Orthodox Easter rituals and the flame symbolizes the resurrection of Christ in a ceremony dating back to the 12th century. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

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Ukrainian Orthodox believers attend the Orthodox Easter service in St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, April 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, second right, and his wife Maryna Poroshenko, right, attend an Orthodox Easter service in St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, April 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

 

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Kosovo Serb Orthodox woman holds her baby as other believers hold candles during an Easter vigil mass in the monastery of Gracanica during an Easter service, Kosovo on Sunday, April 16, 2017. Across the world, Orthodox Christians are celebrating Easter, commemorating the day followers believe that Jesus was resurrected more than 2,000 years ago. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

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An altar boy holding candles walks with Kosovo Serb Orthodox Bishop Teodosije, right, a nun and pilgrims during an Easter vigil mass in the monastery of Gracanica during an Easter service, Kosovo on Sunday, April 16, 2017. Across the world, Orthodox Christians are celebrating Easter, commemorating the day followers believe that Jesus was resurrected more than 2,000 years ago. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

orthodox

Kosovo Serb Orthodox believers attend Easter mass in the monastery of Gracanica during an Easter service, Kosovo Sunday, April 16, 2017. Across the world, Orthodox Christians are celebrating Easter, commemorating the day followers believe that Jesus was resurrected more than 2,000 years ago. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

Orthodox

Kosovo Serb Orthodox woman holds her baby during an Easter vigil mass in the monastery of Gracanica during an Easter service, Kosovo Sunday, April 16, 2017. Across the world, Orthodox Christians are celebrating Easter, commemorating the day followers believe that Jesus was resurrected more than 2,000 years ago. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

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