Russians celebrate Orthodox Christmas

18:11, January 07, 2011      

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Russian Orthodox believers began to celebrate the Orthodox Christmas Friday.

At least 14,000 people went to churches to attend Christmas services in Moscow, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called on the believers to pray for their country and people during the major service he conducted at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who also attended the Christmas service, congratulated Orthodox Christians and all Russians on Christmas.

"The Christmas holiday cultivates the high values of good and love in us. They have contributed to stronger moral values and the consolidation of the Russian people for centuries. These values also make the foundations of a peaceful and creative life and further development of Russia for our society in the present times," the president was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attended a Christmas service in a church in the Tver Region where his parents lived, local media reported.

The Russian, Jerusalem, Serbian and Georgian Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7 in line with the Julian calendar.

Source: Xinhua
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