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Easter sunday: pope calls for the end of conflicts

Pope Francis   -  
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Alessandra Tarantino/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Vatican

Thousands of people have gathered in Vatican City to celebrate Easter with the pope.

At Easter Sunday Mass, Pope Francis appealed for a ceasefire in Gaza, and for warring countries Russia and Ukraine to free the soldiers they've taken captive.

“In calling for respect for the principles of international law, I express my hope for a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine: all for the sake of all!”

The pontiff has been battling respiratory and mobility problems in recent months, and has been unable to carry out some of his regular speeches and duties.

Easter Sunday is Christianity's holiest day of the year - the day that many believe Jesus Christ was raised from the dead after his crucifixion.