Celebrations to mark Orthodox Christmas

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Celebrations to mark Orthodox Christmas

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An estimated 300 million people around the world are celebrating Orthodox Christmas on Saturday which falls on the 7th January.

More than 5000 worshippers gathered at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ Our Saviour watched on by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his wife Svetlana.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill called on believers to withstand the “cult of hasty lucre”, or easy money.

A similar service was held by Orthodox Christians in Bethlehem in front of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Those belonging to orthodox churches throughout mostly eastern and central Europe celebrate Christmas today, according to the Julian calendar.

For many, it marks the end of a 40 day fast.