Pope John Paul II made the traditional papel Easter message of peace yesterday an appeal for Christians to link the doctrine of Christ's resurrection to the Roman Catholic ban on abortion.
The day's religious celebrations around the world were generally peaceful, but in the Davao City, Philippines, terrorists threw two grenades into crowds at San Pedro Cathedral, killing 11 people and wounding 150.
In Jerusalem, Roman Catholics and Protestants mingled with Jewish worshipers as Easter Sunday coincided with the first day of Passover for the first time in 28 years.
A Roman Catholic sunrise mass of the resurrection said by the Latin Patiarch of Jerusalem, Giacomo Giuseppe Beltritti, opened Holy Land celebrations at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of Christ's tomb.
Protestants celebrated outside the Jerusalem city walls at the Garden Tomb, a skull-shaped hill that some scholars believe was the site of the crucifixion.
At the Wailing Wall, a remnant of the temple of Christ's time, Jewish morning prayers commemorated the Israelites' flight from Egypt.
Pope John Paul conferred his yearly urbi et orbi (to the city and the world) blessing from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. In addition to greeting for peace to "all those who live in anxiety, in tension under threat" around the world, the pope addressed a special greeting to his native Poland, where economic and political tensions remain high.
In reiterating the church's stand on abortion, he said that Easter's "message of life freed from death" should prevail among Christians against the "illusions of those who see human progress in the right to nflict death on life which has just been conceived."
In addition to the terrorist attack on the Philippine cathedral, world tensions and national political strife were reflected in Easter observations elsewhere. In strongly Roman Catholic Spain, Basque nationwaliets defied a government ban and held a demonstration at Guernica, the Basque national shrine, as police attempted to block roads leading to the city.
Irish republicans staged rallies and parades in Northern Ireland to mark the 1916 Dublin rebellin against the British, whose rule in the predominantly Protestant north they oppose. Two demonstrators were killed in Londonderry when an Army jeep plowed into a crowd of about 100 people during the fifth night of anti-British rioting. Masked gunmen fired a volley over Republican graves in Belfast's Milltown Cemetery to synbolize their defiance.
Easter services in the West German cities of Kiel, Hanover, West Berlin and Osnabruck were disrupted by demonstrators protesting the death during a prison hunger strike of convicted terrorist Sigurd Debus.The disruptions were part of a wave of sit-ins, arson. railroad sabotage and bombings across the country since Debus died last Thursday.