January 7, 2007

Mary Christmas, MOSCOW II

This beautiful picture from the Radio Free Europe news page.

January 7, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- From Russia to Ethiopia, Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas today.

In Moscow, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Aleksy II, celebrated a midnight Mass for 5,000 people at Christ the Savior Cathedral.

The five-hour service was broadcast on national television.

Orthodox Christmas was not officially recognized by the communist regime, but became a public holiday in Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Communists demolished thousands of churches, including Christ the Savior Cathedral, which was rebuilt in the late 1990s.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, began Christmas ceremonies for Greek, Syrian, and Coptic churches at the ancient Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on January 6.

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