Orthodox Christians Christmas Day

To Coptic and Orthodox Christians,  the birth of Jesus is celebrated today on Jan. 7th.
If you want to find out more about what Orthodox Christianity is this BBC site is really good.

Orthodox Christmas in Pictures from here

In Cairo, Egypt’s Christians packed churches for mournful Christmas Eve masses under a heavy security cordon by police, fearing another attack like the one in Alexandria on January 1st that killed 21 people.

The ancient Christian sect accounts for 10 per cent of Egypt’s 80 million people, but complains of widespread discrimination and treatment which  its members say relegates them to second-class-citizen status.

Below Photo : Pope Shenouda III, The Coptic Orthodox Christians' Pope in Egypt who has called for calm and national unity amid more vocal complaints from Copts.

State TV gave heavy coverage to the Christmas Eve mass to promote a sense of unity. The ceremony was preceded by a live discussion by a team of prominent TV hosts and newscasters, all dressed in black, standing on the cathedral steps and speaking of the bonds between Muslims and Christians.

Muslims attended services at some churches around Cairo as a show of solidarity, getting permission from church officials ahead of time to get through police limiting access to Christians.
“I wanted to do anything,” said Hanan Mahfouz, a young woman in a Muslim head scarf holding a candle during a mass in a church in the Cairo suburb of Maadi. “Coming here seemed like the least I could do.”

This report from the UK Catholic Herald is well worth a read as it casts an optimistic light on Christian-Muslim relations across the world

and also this report on the fears of The Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey
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