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PHOTO GALLERY: Orthodox Christians around the world celebrate Christmas


Bosnia and Herzegovina
Orthodox priests lead an Orthodox Christmas service at the Bosnian Orthodox church in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 (AP)
Palestine
Palestinian worshippers of the Greek Orthodox community pray during Christmas Eve Mass at St. Porphyrios Church in Gaza City, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 (AP)
Palestine
A Palestinian Christian woman lights a votive candle during Orthodox Christmas celebrations at the Saint Porphyrios Greek Orthodox church in Gaza City on January 7, 2016 (AFP)
Syria
Armenian Orthodox clerics and altar boys lead the Christmas service at the Holy Mother of God Armenian Orthodox Church on January 6, 2016 in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo (AFP)
Syria
Armenian Orthodox worshippers attend a Christmas service at the Holy Mother of God Armenian Orthodox Church on January 6, 2016 in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo (AFP)
Iraq
Armenian people light candles on the eve of Orthodox Christmas in Duhok province January 6, 2016 (Reuters)
Iraq
Armenian people attend mass at a church as they celebrate Orthodox Christmas in Dohuk province January 6, 2016 (Reuters)
Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, attends midnight Orthodox Christmas Mass in a church in the village of Turginovo, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of Turginovo, Russia, late Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 (AP)
Russia
Choir sings during the Christmas service in Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow early on January 7, 2016 (AFP)
Serbia
People attend a ceremonial burning of dried oak branches, the Yule log symbol for the Orthodox Christmas Eve in front of Saint Sava church in Belgrade, on January 6, 2016 (AFP)
Serbia
People wait to receive a piece of traditional Christmas bread, marking the Orthodox Christmas Day festivities in Belgrade, Serbia January 7, 2016 (Reuters)
Ukraine
Ukrainian Orthodox believers attend the Christmas Eve Mass in the St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 (AP)
Macedonia
A woman prays during a religious mass to celebrate the Orthodox Christmas at the Cathedral of St Clement in Skopje on January 7, 2016, according to the old Julian calendar (AFP)
Turkey
Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew leads the Epiphany ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, January 6, 2016 (Reuters)
Egypt
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (C) greets Christians during Egypt's Coptic Christmas eve mass led by Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark Cathedral, in Cairo, Egypt, January 6, 2016 (Reuters)
Egypt
African Christian women attend Egypt's Coptic Christmas eve mass led by Pope Tawadros II (not pictured), the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark Cathedral, in Cairo, Egypt, January 6, 2016 (Reuters)
France
Coptic priest father Bedaba (C) burns incense as he celebrates Christmas mass on January 6, 2016 in a Coptic Orthodox monastery in Roncheres, central France (AFP)
Jan
7

On Thursday 7 January, Orthodox Christians around the world celebrate Christmas. The festival comes almost two weeks after most Western Christians, including Roman Catholics and Protestants, hold their celebrations, on 25 December.

The different dates of the celebration in the modern period are a result of a change in calendar; while Western churches follow the Gregorian calendar, Orthodox churches continue to follow the older Julian calendar (named after Julius Caesar who introduced it in 46 BC).

Those celebrating on 7 January include Coptic Orthodox Christians, who make up the majority of Egypt's Christian population.

Read more here.

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