Jerusalem: Thousands hold ‘Holy Fire’ ceremony at Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Jerusalem: Thousands of Christians hold ‘Holy Fire’ ceremony at Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims gathered at Christianity’s holiest site in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday for the “Holy Fire” ceremony on the eve of Orthodox Easter.

Israeli police deployed hundreds of officers to secure Jerusalem’s Old City.

“Israeli police have completed final security arrangements for the Holy Fire ceremony taking place in the church of the Sepulchre in the Old City. Hundreds of extra police officers in and around the area including border police, special patrol units and under covered units in order to secure the event,” said Police Spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld.

With candles in hand, pilgrims filled the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The church is built on the site where according to Christian tradition Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

Thousands more stood in the square outside to receive the flame, representing the resurrection of Jesus, which passed from candle to candle and will be taken back to Orthodox churches worldwide.

The ceremony is the holiest event for Orthodox Christianity.

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