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Orthodox Christmas celebrations underway

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Orthodox Christmas celebrations underway


Orthodox Christians around the world are celebrating their Christmas, with a key service in Moscow just one of the highlights.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his wife were among those who attended mass in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is celebrating Christmas in the central historic city of Kostroma.

Christmas falls on January 7 for Orthodox Christians, as they use the ancient Julian calendar. December 25 is Christmas under the 16th century Gregorian calendar.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church led the service in Moscow, congratulating the country’s leaders for they way they have led Russia through the financial crisis.

The number of Orthodox Christians around the world is estimated to be about 300 million, with huge followings in central and eastern Europe. It is the second largest Christian church behind Roman Catholicism.

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