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U.S. President Donald Trump on April 19 called Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, to express his good wishes for Easter.

Bartholomew thanked Trump for his initiative to express his wishes over the phone, and also for his support to American Greek Orthdodox Church and society, led by Archbishop of America Elpidoforos.

Trump and Bartholomew were scheduled to meet in May, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting has been postponed to next year.

Also, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Ali Babacan, the chairman of the newly founded Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), have made a phone call to Bartholomew, celebrating Easter. Bartholomew similarly thanked the politicians for their phone calls, wishing them success in their duties.

More than 260 million Orthodox Christians have celebrated Easter under exceptional conditions, encouraged by the authorities to stay at home to limit coronavirus contagion.

However, gatherings have still gone ahead. Liturgies were held in churches and cathedrals across the globe. 

Bartholomew led a liturgy at St. George’s Cathedral in Istanbul on April 19.