Anti-terror Tweet by Archbishop of York leads defiant Easter messages

RELIGIOUS FIGURES and world leaders came together over Easter in defiance of terror and political turbulence.

Solemn Eucharist Service for Easter Day at York Minster, by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. Photo: James Hardisty.

In Yorkshire the Solemn Eucharist at York Cathedral began the Easter Day services, led by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.

Prior to the service he tweeted “Sin & Evil defeated, we can all have new life” following an Easter message where he referred to the Westminster terror attack saying: “Sometimes – too often – life seems totally hopeless. It gets so badly broken and messed up that we imagine it can never be fixed and cleaned up.”

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Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury said people must bring “restoration and hope” to a world where “evil” still exists.

Justin Welby told his Easter Sunday congregation at Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, that in the face of “pain and despair, grief and death” people should remember the words “Do not be afraid”. He referred to the attacks in Egypt which killed more than 40 people in churches in Alexandria and Tanta last week.

He added: “Everything we are and own and see is to be lived, and held and understood through the resurrection.

“But be under no illusion, this is utterly counter to how the world runs itself, and so we live in the now of a world in which the resurrection has happened, and the not yet of a world where there is still evil.

“Christians in Egypt live surrounded by bombs and terror. We and those we love know the grim, grey moments of illness, suffering, arguments, poverty, ill health mental and physical, prison, guilt and failure.

“We experience a world of pain and despair, grief and death.

“But the words Jesus says on that first Easter day, he says to you and me now; ‘Do not be afraid’.

“These things overshadow our lives because we fear they may have the last word.

“These things lie, they deceive, they pretend to have power that they do not have, when they say they are final.

“There is only one finality, Jesus the crucified one is alive. In the hard journeys we all face, in every moment of loss, the community of witnesses to the resurrection must come alongside and, with love and gentleness, bring restoration and hope.”

The service presided over by the Pope was a more solemn Easter vigil ceremony marked by heightened security fears following terror attacks in Europe.

Holding a single candle, Francis processed down the centre aisle of a darkened St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on Saturday, symbolising the darkness that fell after Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday.

When he reached the altar, the basilica’s floodlights turned on, symbolising the light of Christ’s resurrection.

Saturday’s late-night service came just hours after Francis presided over the evocative torch-lit Good Friday procession at Rome’s Colosseum, where he repeatedly denounced the “shame” of the blood of innocent children, women and migrants spilled in the world’s other tragedies.

Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May used her Easter message to suggest people are “coming together and uniting” following Brexit.

Mrs May, the daughter of a vicar, said the UK should be “confident” about Christianity’s role in society and stand up for people’s freedom to speak about their faith.