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Israel: Christians concerned by government restrictions on Easter Vigil

March 21, 2016

Christian leaders in Jerusalem have protested restrictions imposed by Israeli police on the annual Easter Vigil ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Each year, Orthodox prelates share the "holy fire" kindled in the empty tomb, passing the flame along to hundreds of worshippers and eventually to all the churches of the region. This year police will set up barriers to limit the pedestrian traffic around the ancient church, citing the risk that fire could spread in a confined area. Church leaders acknowledge the risk, since the church has only one exit, but express resentment of the government's involvement. 

 
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