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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 December 2007, 13:11 GMT
In pictures: Christmas celebrations

View of the Vatican on 25 December 2007.

Christians around the world are marking Christmas Day, the traditional day of Jesus Christ's birth.

Pope Benedict XVI during Christmas Mass

At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI delivered his annual Urbi et Orbi Christmas message to the world.

People queuing to enter the grotto at the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where tradition has it Jesus was born, was full of worshippers for midnight Mass.

Palestinian Christians attend the Christmas mass at the Latin Catholic Church in Gaza City

Not too far off in Gaza City, Palestinian Christians gathered for a message of peace.

Iraqi Christians attend Christmas mass in Baghdad, Iraq

In war-torn Iraq, Christians had to go through heavy security to reach the church.

A Pakistan police officer keeps guard as Christians wait for security check upon their arrival at St Thomas church to attend Christmas Mass

Similar - even though lower-key - security checks were being carried out outside St Thomas church in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

Worshippers line up outside a government approved Catholic church in Beijing

In China, many celebrated Mass in government approved Catholic churches, such as this one in Beijing.

Fireworks by Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, Moscow

In the Russian capital, Moscow, there were fireworks by the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception.

Worshippers light candles outside Sacred Heart Cathedral, Delhi

In Delhi, India, worshippers lit candles outside Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Women wearing Santa hats pose on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia.

Many celebrated by having a good time outdoors - including these women posing for photos on Bondi beach in Sydney.

Members of Berlin's swim club "Berlin Seals" some wearing Santa costumes, some naked, take a Christmas dip in the ice cold waters of Lake Oranke in Berlin.

In Berlin, members of the city's swim club were also having fun - in the icy water of Lake Oranke.

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