Christians in the Holy Land and across the world are celebrating Easter, commemorating the day followers believe Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.

The cavernous Holy Sepulcher church in Jerusalem was packed with worshippers on Sunday. The site is where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

A Mass is expected later in Bethlehem's Nativity Church, built atop the site where Christians believe Jesus was born.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis presided over a solemn vigil service Saturday night. In his homily, Francis said darkness and fear must not prevail and "imprison" the world with pessimism. The call to hope on the eve of the most joyful celebration in the Christian calendar contrasted sharply with his condemnation of the attacks in Belgium and elsewhere by Islamic extremists.