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Sunday, 7 January, 2001, 15:05 GMT
In pictures: Orthodox Christmas
Orthodox Christians have been celebrating the birth of Christ, nearly a fortnight after the same occasion in the western church's calendar. Millions of believers gathered for church services all over the former Soviet Union, eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Russian girls light candles
Muscovites celebrated by lighting candles in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Yasser Arafat and Metropolitan Cornelius
Yasser Arafat - himself a Muslim - prayed alongside Palestinian Orthodox Christians at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity

Pope Shenouda III spreads incense
Egypt's Copts attended a midnight mass at Cairo Cathedral

Priest and Patriarch Pavle
Christmas Eve in Belgrade: Serbian Patriarch Pavle blessed a priest

Montenegrin Orthodox Church head Miras Dedejic
Priests from Montenegro's pro-independence church broke bread in the old capital, Cetinje

Serbian Christians celebrating in Montenegro
While just down the road, pro-Serb Christians burned traditional yule logs

Macedonian woman lighting candles
A Macedonian woman lit candles in Skopje

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