Bartholomew leads Orthodox easter celebrated on Gokceada
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on Sunday joined the Orthodox celebration of Easter, one of the main holidays in the Christian world, for the first time on the island of Gökçeada (Imbros), where the patriarch was born and raised. Bartholomew, spiritual leader of about 300 million Orthodox Christians around the world, led the service at Meryem Ana (Virgin Mary) Church. The liturgy was also attended by Greek Consul General in İstanbul Nicolas Matthioudakis and priests and Orthodox Christians coming from other countries. Other Orthodox Christians across Turkey also celebrated Easter by holding religious ceremonies in churches on Sunday. The Antakya Orthodox Church held a ceremony on Sunday to commemorate Jesus Christ's resurrection. The religious services were led by spiritual leaders of the church, Jan Dellüer, Dimitri Doğum and Fadi Hurigil, head of the Antakya Orthodox Church Foundation. Verses from the Bible were read during the ceremony, candles were lit and prayers were sent to Aleppo and Hatay Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Pavlov Yazıcı and Aleppo Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan Yuhhana İbrahim, who were taken hostage near Aleppo last month.