Officials, dignitaries congratulate Easter

BELGRADE -- Serbian officials, politicians, religious and public figures have issued statements congratulating the holiday of Easter to all those who celebrate it.

Children in a Belgrade elementary school color Easter eggs (Tanjug)
Children in a Belgrade elementary school color Easter eggs (Tanjug)

President Tomislav Nikolić congratulated on Friday the most important Christian holiday to Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej, priests and the monastic community, and all citizens of Serbia who celebrate this holiday, with the message that the strength of our country is in the understanding, love and solidarity "that our faith teaches us."

Nikolić also extended his message to Catholic and Protestant citizens of Serbia, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Belgrade and honorable fathers of the Archdiocese of Belgrade.

"The victory of our Savior Jesus Christ over death, the doctrine of the resurrection of the son of God, is the hope of all the faithful that justice and goodness are always stronger than injustice and evil. During the holy days when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, let our prayers be dedicated to the health and prosperity of our families, friends, of our diaspora, of our weak and vulnerable compatriots, the progress of our common homeland Serbia, the welfare of every person regardless of their religious affiliation," the president said in his message, and concluded:

"Let the power of our country be in the understanding, love and solidarity that our faith teaches us."

Outgoing PM Ivica Dačić said in his message that he wished the holiday would bring "health, love, and hope, and spiritual peace," and pass in "peace and joy."

Earlier in the week, both Patriarch Irinej and Archbishop Stanislav Hočevar issued their Easter messages.

Deputy head of the Islamic Community of Serbia, Mufti Muhamed Jusufspahić, congratulated the holiday to Serbian Patriarch Irinej and dignitaries of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the clergy and all Orthodox believers.

"On behalf of the Islamic Community of Serbia and on my own behalf, I congratulate you, dignitaries of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the clergy and the faithful the upcoming great holiday, wishing that you celebrate and mark it in peace, joy and warmth of sincere faith, prayer and hope for a better tomorrow for all of us in Serbia'' reads the message.

Minister of Justice and Public Administration Nikola Selaković also congratulated the holiday to Christian believers in Serbia, as did several other ministers in the caretaker government, including Nebojša Rodić and Sulejman Ugljanin.

In his message, Selaković noted that "by celebrating the feast of the resurrection of Christ every year we celebrate the meaning of Christianity, which is the foundation of the civilization that we as a nation belong to."

He added that "the suffering of Jesus should remind us that every society should be based on mutual tolerance and respect."

Crown Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević also congratulated Easter, saying in his message that he wished the holiday would "revive the virtues that will help us be better people, and a better nation."