Orthodox Christians in Turkey mark Easter

Orthodox Christians in Turkey mark Easter

Orthodox Christians in Turkey mark Easter

Most Orthodox Christians in Turkey celebrated Easter at home this year due to the 17-day pandemic lockdown, but limited number of faithful were able to attend the church services under strict rules.

In Turkey’s southeastern Mardin province, only a few Syriac Orthodox Christians gathered in the fourth-century Kırklar Church on May 2, in line with measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Archbishop Gabriel Akyüz led the rituals on the mass, reading chapters from the Bible and leading chants in Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew and Syriac.

“Today is a great day,” said Akyüz, noting that it is a very important day for Assyrians and they celebrate Easter with enthusiasm.

The rituals were held in accordance with the guidelines to combat the virus, Akyüz noted.

Those who gathered prayed for an immediate end to the deadly pandemic.

Orthodox Christians, the world’s third largest group of Christian believers, celebrate Easter a week after Catholics and Protestants because they follow a different calendar.