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Christians celebrate Easter worldwide; Pope Francis calls for change, peace

UNDATED (CBS) -- Celebrations are taking place worldwide this Easter Sunday.

More than 150,000 faithful flocked to St. Peter's Square to hear Pope Francis deliver his second Easter message.

The Pope made a plea for peace in Ukraine, Syria and the Middle East. He called for an end to terrorist attacks against Christians in Nigeria and spoke about Africans suffering from a deadly Ebola epidemic.

Pope Francis also urged reconciliation in Venezuela where there's violent political unrest. He asked the gathered tourists, pilgrims and Romans to help those close to home who are in need to stand beside the sick, elderly and the outcast.

The overflowing crowd also read Bible passages and shared prayers in at least eight languages.

According to a recent CBS News poll, more Catholics than ever said the church is in touch with their needs. New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan says Pope Francis is the reason for the change.

"He has really ignited the imagination of the world, and for once, finally, it's almost like people are saying, 'Wow. There's reason to cheer, there's reason to hope, there's a good guy. The good guys are winning in the church'," says Dolan.

President Obama and the first family attended services in Washington, DC. On Monday, they will host the annual Easter egg roll on the White House lawn.

In New York City, Christians packed St. Patrick's Cathedral before spilling onto Fifth Avenue for their annual Easter parade.

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