Christians across the country celebrated a subdued Easter on Sunday due to the covid-19 pandemic which has claimed 88 lives in Pakistan and infected more than 5,000.
Due to the lockdown imposed in the country, worshippers were confined to their homes in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.
Taking to Twitter, P M Imran Khan urged those celebrating to do so in a safe manner by praying at home.
“Wishing all our Christian citizens a happy Easter. Please stay safe and keep your families safe during the coronavirus pandemic by praying and celebrating at home and by observing national safety protocols, PM said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called on citizens to use this day to rise together in the fight against the covid-19.
In a tweet, he said: “A happy and safe Easter to all celebrating today. Let us embrace the spirit of this auspicious day and renew our pact to rise together in our fight against #coronavirus, for a healthy, strong, and progressive Pakistan.”
Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif also urged the Christian community to celebrate the day at home while taking precautionary measures to limit the spread of the disease.
“Wish a joyous Easter to our Christian brothers and sisters across Pakistan and around the world. I urge you live the spirit of this day, which represents rekindling of hope, by celebrating at home and taking all precautions that will limit and eliminate the spread of coronavirus.
Elsewhere around the world Italian authorities set up roadblocks around Milan to discourage people from going on Easter weekend trips.
British police kept a close watch on gatherings in parks and at the seaside on one of the hottest days of the year. And France deployed some 160,000 police including officers on horseback who patrolled beaches and parks.
With religious leaders around the globe urging people to observe Easter safely at home the archbishop of Turin, Italy, allowed a video streaming display of the Shroud of Turin, believed by the faithful to be the burial cloth of Jesus, so that they can pray in front of it.
Pope Francis also celebrated an Easter vigil Mass in an empty St Peter’s Basilica, where the footsteps of the pontiff and his small entourage on the marble floor, could be heard clearly as they walked in slow procession toward the altar.
Francis likened covid-19 fears to anxiety felt by Jesus’ followers after his crucifixion.
For them as for us it was the darkest hour, he said, encouraging people to sow seeds of hope with small gestures of care.