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 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 16:30 GMT
In pictures: Orthodox Christmas
Christmas and Epiphany are being marked in the former Soviet Union, Europe, the Middle East and Africa by Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar.

A woman lights candles for Christmas in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo
Millions of worshippers across the region flocked churches for the holy Christmas service

Left picture: An elderly woman prays in St. Clement church in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, and (right picture) a boy takes a communion from a priest after the liturgy
...people of all ages - with families and alone - came to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ

A woman lights a candle in St. Sava temple in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
...some prayed in silence during the solemn liturgy

Russian President Vladimir Putin is embraced by an Orthodox priest at a Christmas service
Russian President Vladimir Putin broke his ski holiday to attend the service

A woman pilgrim inside the Church of the Nativity; an altar boy carrying an icon of Christ
At Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, built where Christians believe Jesus was born, many prayed for peace

Egyptian Christians pray during Christmas services at Cairo's Coptic Cathedral
In Egypt, the son of President Mubarak joined the country's Coptic Christian minority for the liturgy

Left picture: Orthodox faithful near the church in Pirogovo, near capital Kiev. Right picture: A woman drinks homemade vodka .
In Ukraine, worshippers braved freezing temperatures, and some warmed up with a homemade vodka
See also:

07 Jan 03 | Africa
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