Orthodox Christians Celebrated Holy Fire Ceremony in Jerusalem
Easter Holy Week celebrations are continuing in Jerusalem with a traditional ceremony at the holiest place in Christianity. Orthodox Christians crowded into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City for the Ceremony of the Holy Fire. Following a 1,200-year-old tradition, priests entered the ancient stone tomb of Jesus as the cavernous church was plunged into darkness. Suddenly, the priests emerged with candles said to be lit by the Holy Spirit.
The crowd cheered as the flame quickly spread to thousands of worshippers holding candles. It symbolizes that Jesus is the light of the world. Worshippers came from countries where the Orthodox churches are strong, including Serbia, Russia, Armenia and Greece.
About 2,500 Israeli police and soldiers deployed in and around Jerusalem's Old City to secure the event.
Flames from the holy fire were taken from Jerusalem and put on flights to Moscow, Athens and other cities, linking 200 million Orthodox Christians worldwide to their spiritual roots.