JERUSALEM (JTA) — Christians from around the world marked Easter in Jerusalem.
Thousands took part Sunday in services in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is known as the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.
This year, both the Eastern Orthodox and western Christian denominations marked Easter on the same day, causing even more demand for seats in the church.
Jerusalem police increased security in the days leading up to Easter and remained in a heightened state of alert on Sunday. Police officers, ambulances and fire crews were set up throughout the Old City and near the church to assist Christian worshipers.
Despite a closure of the West Bank until the end of Passover on Tuesday, Israel reportedly issued some 10,000 permits for Christian Palestinians to enter Jerusalem from the West Bank. Another 500 Christians from Gaza also received permits to travel to Israel and the West Bank for the holiday, according to Israel’s military.