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Coronavirus live news: Pope celebrates Easter mass by live stream as lockdowns tighten worldwide

Coronavirus live news: Pope celebrates Easter mass by live stream as lockdowns tighten worldwide thumbnail

Italy, India, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico extend lockdown; Britain pledges £200m to WHO; partner of Julian Assange calls for prison release

One country marking a particularly difficult Easter this year is Sri Lanka. It is a year since more than 260 people, mostly Catholics, were killed in the Islamic State-inspired attacks on three churches and three hotels last Easter.

Due to coronavirus, there were no organised events to remember the victims as the country has been under curfew for most of the past three weeks. Like much of the rest of the world, Sri Lankan Christians observed Easter services on the internet and television.

“I am very surprised and envious the UK still allows people to go out for an hour every day … The general public [in Sri Lanka] have not really seen the outside world in just over three weeks. It’s distressing as it has been a year since the Easter attacks and we spent a lot of time trying to rebuild the economy only for it to again tank due to the virus. We hope for better days.”

We have more on what was an extraordinary address by Pope Francis, who was delivering his most pressing and political speech since he was elected seven years ago.

The pope expressed particular concern for the future of Europe, saying he hoped that rivalries from before the second world war “do not regain force” as a result of the pandemic.

“The European Union is presently facing an epochal challenge, on which will depend not only its future but that of the whole world … This is not a time for division.”

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