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Monday, 25 December, 2000, 15:11 GMT
Christmas messages from around the world
Pope John Paul II
The Pope expressed concern over violence in Indonesia
National leaders from around the world used Christmas celebrations to send messages to their people, while for the head of the Catholic Church the event was marred by news of religious violence.

Pope John Paul, on Christmas Eve bomb attacks in Indonesia:
"I am thinking particularly of Indonesia, where our brothers and sisters in faith, even on this Christmas Day, are undergoing a tragic time of trial and suffering."

Spain's King Juan Carlos, after year of Basque separatist violence:
"My thoughts go out to the victims of terrorism and their families. I can never, least of all today, forget their suffering nor can I fail to share in their loss."

Belgium's King Albert, speaking after electoral gains by the far right:
"Remain on guard against all forms of racism and excessive exaltation of one's identity."

Philippines President Joseph Estrada, facing corruption charges:
"Learn the virtue of love, not only during Christmas but every day."

Burmese junta member Lt-Gen Tin Oo:
"The concerted efforts of the people, government and defence services in Myanmar today are in line with the loving kindness and compassion which every religion cherishes... All Christians should try and stop the irreligious acts of destructive elements attempting to undermine Myanmar and disrupt the peace."

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on her country's civil war:
"Our brothers and sisters continue to be destroyed by this horrendous war. What is also clearly evident is that the path for peace for which Christ laid down his life is more relevant today than ever before."

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein
Saddam veered from the traditional messages of peace

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat:
"On this very important and very beautiful day, that is so very religious, we are asking all the world, in the name of our Jesus Christ, to help the Palestinian people and to stop everything they are facing."

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, urging war on Israel and the USA:
"We and all humanity celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ... The principles of righteous Islam and the teachings upheld and championed by Jesus... mean we should follow... the path of holy war."

Queen Elizabeth II:
"The true measure of Christ's influence is not only in the lives of the saints, but also in the good works quietly done by millions of men and women day-in day-out through the centuries."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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