Stained glass depicting the crucifixion in a church.
People of Christian faith across Australia are celebrating the resurrection of Christ on Sunday. Image by Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS
  • easter

Messages of forgiveness as Australia marks Easter

March 31, 2024

Millions of Australians have celebrated the Christian tradition of Easter with church services, egg hunts and family feasts, as charities reported a rise in people doing it tough.

The themes of forgiveness and renewal featured throughout religious services and messages from political leaders, on a day marking the resurrection of Jesus in line with biblical teachings.

Some 1600 people attended a free Easter lunch hosted by the Reverend Bill Crews Foundation for those hit hard by cost-of-living pressures.

“It’s growing all the time, people are really struggling today,” Rev Crews told AAP.

“A lot of people have to choose between rent money and food, between children’s medicines and food.”

Many people at the lunch at Ashfield in Sydney’s inner west never thought they’d ever line up for free food, Rev Crews said.

“A typical person who comes to us would be a 60-year-old woman who’s got a disabled son, lost her job, can’t find another job.”

The key message of his Easter service was the importance of forgiveness in a divided and unforgiving world.

The prime minister’s Easter message also focused on the themes of forgiveness and kindness.

“Celebrations and services across the country remind us of the importance of forgiveness, grace and kindness to those in need,” Anthony Albanese said.

“Qualities that are so much a part of the compassion and virtue of this, the greatest country on earth.”

Mr Albanese thanked those working over the long weekend.

“Thank you for what you do,” he said.

On Good Friday, federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton released his Easter message, saying Easter was a time for rest and reflection, whether one was Christian or not.

“At Easter, may we remember the importance of the Christian faith to so many Australians, especially its messages of hope, renewal and new life,” he said.

“This Easter, may we again reflect on how lucky we are to live in the greatest country in the world.”

Both leaders urged drivers to take care, against the backdrop of a rising national road toll.

In the 12 months to the end of February this year, 1286 people had died on Australian roads, almost 10 per cent more than the previous year.

The tragic trend prompted a plea to drivers in Queensland, and other states, to be careful.

“Please, don’t drink or drug-drive, drive smarter not faster, leave your phone alone, wear your seatbelt properly, and look out for each other on the road,” Queensland Transport Minister Bart Mellish said.