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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 April, 2004, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Fight terror with love, says Pope
Pope's Easter Sunday message
The Pope has called for peace and forgiveness on Easter Sunday
Pope John Paul II has used his Easter message to call upon the world to cultivate hope in the face of terror.

"May the culture of life and love render vain the logic of death," he said.

He specifically urged world leaders and global institutions to end conflict in Iraq, the Holy Land and Africa.

Tight security surrounded the frail pontiff, who has completed a busy week of Easter pageantry with a mass in the Vatican City's St Peter's Square.

No-fly zone

The 83-year-old Pope, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease, spoke hoarsely but clearly before an audience of tens of thousands of people in the square.

May [humanity] find the strength to face the inhuman, and unfortunately growing, phenomenon of terrorism, which rejects life and brings anguish and uncertainty
Pope John Paul II

His Easter Sunday mass and Urbi et Orbi blessing - Latin for "To the City and the World" - also expressed the hope that all peaceful and hard-working people would find the strength to cope with the tumult of the world.

Flowers decorated the steps where the Pope sat for Sunday's celebration - traditionally the happiest day in the Christian calendar, marking the resurrection of Christ.

He chuckled when the young child of an Asian family that had come for his blessings had to be restrained because of her nervousness on stage.

The Vatican and central Rome were made a no-fly zone, while police numbers were boosted following reports that terrorists might target the Pope.

Heavy schedule

A large cross at the Coliseum during the Way of the Cross procession
Thousands braved rain to watch the Good Friday procession at the Coliseum
On Saturday, he presided over a three-hour Mass in St Peter's Basilica.

He blessed the flame of a tall candle and personally baptised people from Europe, Africa and Asia.

His right hand trembled as he poured water over their heads.

"Your origins manifest the universality of the call to salvation and the gratuitousness of the gift of faith," the Pope said.

On Good Friday, the Pope heard confessions and conducted the solemn Passion Mass, before braving the rain for the day's main event at Rome's Coliseum - a candle-lit procession of a wooden cross around the ancient ruins in front of thousands of people.

The BBC's Simon Crutchley
"The Pope looked tired but still managed to rally his strength"

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