Christians and Jews around the world celebrated Easter and Passover on Sunday with prayers and processions.

In the Vatican, Pope Benedict led traditional morning Mass at St Peter's Basilica which was attended by an estimated 100,000 people.

The Pope urged world peace and stability in his Easter message.

In his message, the Pope deplored the bloodshed in Syria and criticised the Syrian regime for not heeding international appeals to stop attacking civilians. The Pope also denounced terrorist attacks in Nigeria and prayed for coup-hit Mali.

"May the risen Christ grant hope to the Middle East and enable all the ethnic, cultural and religious groups in that region to work together to advance the common good and respect for human rights," said the pope in his message.

Syria is the first country he mentioned in his speech. "Particularly in Syria, may there be an end to bloodshed and an immediate commitment to the path of respect, dialogue and reconciliation, as called for by the international community," said the Pope in his annual "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city of Rome and to the world) message.

Hours earlier the 84-year old pontiff led the Easter vigil and conducted the traditional baptismal ceremony. He welcomed eight people to Christianity who embraced their new faith.

In Britain, Queen Elizabeth attended Easter Service with the other members of the royal family at Windsor Castle.

US President Barack Obama, Michele Obama and their daughters attended the church services on Easter day at the St John's Church in Washington DC located just a block away from the White House.

In other parts of the world, thousands of Palestinian Catholics cracked egg shells to represent the resurrection of Christ and ate the circular bread symbolising his crown with thorns.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti attended the Easter services at the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Christians believe that the church was built on the site where Jesus was crucified and buried.

Take a look at the slide show to have a varied glimpse of Easter celebrations across the world: