Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday extended their greetings on Easter, a Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after he was put on a cross.

“Greetings on Easter! On this day, we remember the pious teachings of Jesus Christ. His emphasis on social empowerment inspires millions across the world,” PM Modi said on Twitter.

“Easter greetings to all! The resurrection of Jesus Christ, celebrated across the world, gives us hope and happiness; reaffirms our faith in innate goodness of humanity,” President Kovind tweeted. “May the teachings of Jesus Christ strengthen the bonds of love, affection and harmony in our society!” he added.

President Kovind greeted the nation on Easter eve as well. “On the auspicious occasion of Easter, I extend my best wishes and heartiest congratulations to all the fellow citizens, especially from the Christian community, living in India and abroad,” the President, who underwent a bypass surgery recently, tweeted. “On this joyous occasion, let’s follow these values which will strengthen the bond of love, affection and harmony in our society and increase happiness and prosperity in our nation,” he added.

Sunday marks the second consecutive Easter amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic and celebrations on the occasion throughout the world will be muted. Pope Francis, who led the Easter vigil service on Saturday, said that he hoped that the dark times of the pandemic would end and that people will rediscover “the grace of everyday life” during these times.

“It is always possible to begin anew because there is a new life that God can awaken in us in spite of all our failures. In these dark months of the pandemic, let us listen to the Risen Lord as he invites us to begin anew and never lose hope,” Pope Francis said, according to news agency Reuters.

Pope Francis will also deliver his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message on Sunday.

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