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Christians mark Christmas in the Middle East and in other parts of the Muslim world

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Christians mark Christmas in the Middle East and in other parts of the Muslim world

Christians mark Christmas in the Middle East and in other parts of the Muslim world
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Christians in the Middle East and in other Muslim countries around the world have begun celebrating Christmas.

In Bethlehem, despite the violence in recent weeks in the wake of President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, there was a festive mood.

The town, revered as Jesus Christ's birthplace, welcomed thousands of Christian pilgrims on Sunday for Christmas celebrations.

The acting Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa was also in the West Bank town to kick off the festivities and lead the Midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity.

Elsewhere in the region, Christmas returned to Iraq. Worshippers held services in the city of Mosul and in the town of Al-Qosh for the first time since ISIL fighters were driven out. Such scenes for many Iraqi Christians would have been unthinkable a year ago.

Pakistan's tiny Christian community has also been celebrating the build up to Christmas.

Though security at one Methodist church in Quetta, which was the target of a suicide attack that saw nine people killed last week, was tight.