Easter mass held in Turkey’s churches
Christians in Istanbul gathered yesterday in the Aya Yorgi Greek Orthodox Church for a ceremony officiated by Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew.
In a speech he delivered at the mass, the patriarch wished peace in Ukraine and the world.
In Hatay, the community’s religious leaders Jan Dellüler and Dimitri Doğum as well as Fadi Hurigil, head of the Antakya Orthodox Church Foundation, oversaw the sermon.
A mass for Easter was also held in the Samandağ district of the province. District Governor of Samandağ Murat Kütük, Samandağ Mayor Refik Eryılmaz were also present at the ceremony.
In Mersin, Ukrainians and Russians, who live in the province and those who are in the city for vacation, attended the mass as well as members of the local orthodox community.
Meanwhile, Syriacs in the southeastern province of Mardin held an Easter mass for the first time in two years.
Easter masses were suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Syriacs living abroad arrived in the province to attend the sermons held at the Kırklar Church and Mor Şarbel Church.
“People, who exchanged greetings, are in joy today,” said İshak Ergün, the priest of the Midyat parishes, noting that the members of the community had to stay at their homes and could not attend the Easter masses in the past two years because of the coronavirus.
Saliba Özmen, the metropolitan bishop of Mardin, expressed gratitude for the attendance of Governor Mahmut Demirtaş at the ceremony.
“Neither Muslims nor Christians were able to celebrate their religious festivities [due to the pandemic]. That’s is today is very important for us and for Mardin,” Özmen said.
Syriacs will celebrate Easter for three days.