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Over 200 Roman Catholic, 5,000 Protestant communities in Russia marking Easter

April 08, 2012, 2:04 UTC+3
Western Christians living in Russia – Roman Catholics, Lutherans and other disciples of Protestantism are marking the Easter
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Photo  EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, April 8 (Itar-Tass) – Western Christians living in Russia – Roman Catholics, Lutherans and other disciples of Protestantism are marking the Easter, the day of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

Festive masses will be held Sunday in the Roman Catholic churches of St Louis and Immaculate Conception, the Lutheran church of St Peter and Paul, the Anglican Cathedral of St Andrew, and numerous Protestant prayer houses.

According to the data provided by representatives of Western Christian confessions, Russia has about 200 Roman Catholic parishes and some 5,000 Protestant communities.

Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate the Easter April 15.

Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, the prelate of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Moscow, will conduct the festive services in the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on Malaya Gruzinskaya Street.

According to reports in Western mass media, the Roman Catholics living in the Holy Land will change over to observing the Eastern-style Easter as of next year, and this means they will mark the festival on the same day as Eastern Orthodox Christians.

The changeover to the Eastern tradition is explained for by the willingness to strengthen ecumenical ties between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians and the presence of a huge number of mixed marriages, said Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Franciscan international custodian of the Holy Land.

The reform will embrace the main basilicas of Jerusalem and Bethlehem where thousands of Western pilgrims come every year.

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