Russia's largest service was held by Patriarch Kirill at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The service in Moscow’s landmark cathedral, where over 7,000 worshippers gathered was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and acting Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin.

In his Easter letter, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: "A new report published by the International Institute for Environment & Development and the children’s charity Plan International reveals that street and slum children are the most vulnerable to environmental hazards, climate change and natural disasters. 

Welby's Easter address at Canterbury Cathedral in southeast England was his second since becoming the spiritual leader of the world's 80 million Anglicans last year.

"In Syria mothers cry for their children and husbands. In the Ukraine neighbours cry because the future is precarious and dangerous. In Rwanda tears are still shed each day as the horror of genocide is remembered," he said.

"In this country, even as the economy improves there is weeping in broken families, in people ashamed to seek help from food banks, or frightened by debt. Asylum seekers weep with loneliness and missing far away families. Mary continues to weep across the world."

Meanwhile, Pope Francis, in his Easter address before a huge crowd, on Sunday denounced the "immense wastefulness" in the world while many go hungry and called for an end to conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Africa.

"We ask you, Lord Jesus, to put an end to all war and every conflict, whether great or small, ancient or recent," he said in his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message.

Francis, marking the second Easter season of his pontificate, celebrated a Mass to an overflowing crowd of at least 150,000 in St. Peter's Square and beyond.

The crowd stretched back along all of Via della Conciliazione, the boulevard between the Vatican and the Tiber River.

Speaking under a sunny sky after a midnight rainstorm soaked the tens of thousands of flowers that bedecked the square, Francis weaved his message around the suffering of people across the globe.

He prayed to God to "help us to overcome the scourge of hunger, aggravated by conflicts and by the immense wastefulness for which we are often responsible".

(VoR, AFP, Reuters)