President Joe Biden on Sunday prayed for all those suffering from the brutality of war and persecution as Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter.
Biden, in a statement from the White House to commemorate Orthodox Easter, said he and first lady Jill Biden were praying for people impacted by the war and mourning for individuals whose loved ones had died.
“During this sacred season, we hold in our prayers all those who are suffering from the brutality of war and persecution.
“We mourn with all those who have lost loved ones or who fear for their safety and rededicate ourselves to working for peace with justice and the freedom and security of all people.”
Ukrainians celebrated Orthodox Easter on Sunday amid the Russian invasion, which began on Feb. 24.
The day, which usually represents reflection and rebirth, comes as Ukrainians battle to save their lives and territory against Russia’s offensive.
Biden said Orthodox Easter this year would strengthen the nation and world.
“Through compassion and service to others; demonstrations of interfaith solidarity; advocacy for religious freedom for everyone, everywhere; and care for creation.
“Let us continue to spread the message of Easter joy through our shared work to build a world that values the inherent dignity and infinite worth of every human being,” the president said.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres had on Tuesday pushed for a four-day “humanitarian pause” between Holy Thursday and Orthodox Easter Sunday to allow for the opening of a series of humanitarian corridors.