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Pope Urges Followers To Reflect On Immigrants, Poor In Easter Vigil

Pope Francis lies on the ground to pray during a Mass for the celebration of the Lord's Passion on Good Friday at St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on April 14.

Pope Francis has ushered in Easter with a late-night vigil at St. Peter's Basilica, urging followers to reflect on the "pain" of immigrants, the poor, and other vulnerable people.

"In their faces, we can see reflected all those who, walking the streets of our cities, feel the pain of dire poverty, the sorrow born of exploitation, and human trafficking," he said late on April 15 in a solemn ceremony in the Vatican.

"We can also see the faces of those who are greeted with contempt because they are immigrants, deprived of country, house, and family," he said.

Security was tighter than usual in light of several global terror attacks, particularly the twin Palm Sunday bombings at Coptic churches in Egypt that killed at least 45 people.

In Egypt, Coptic Christians observed Easter Mass under tight security.

Worshipers passed through three metal detectors in Saint Mark's Cathedral, where Coptic Pope Tawadros II led the mass. Police and soldiers stood guard in the compound and on the streets outside.

Two Islamic State group suicide bombers struck two churches north of Cairo on April 9 in the worst attack on Copts in recent memory.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP