In pictures: Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas

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media captionRussia has the world's biggest Orthodox Christian community

Orthodox Christians around the world are celebrating Christmas.

Communities from Europe, Africa and the Middle East marked the event - each with their own unique traditions - on Thursday, in line with the Julian calendar.

In the Russian capital Moscow, some 350,000 people took part in Christmas liturgies.

Other countries celebrated with firework displays, traditional log-burning ceremonies and processions.

image copyrightReuters
image captionEgypt's Orthodox Coptic Christians make up about 10% of the country's 90 million people and many attended Christmas services at Cairo's Orthodox Cathedral amid tightened security
image copyrightReuters
image captionAmong the worshippers at Cairo's Orthodox Cathedral were Ethiopian Christians, who had fasted for 43 days
image copyrightReuters
image captionChurches across the Georgian capital Tbilisi were lit up to celebrate the occasion
image copyrightReuters
image captionPeople in Tblisi participated in the "Alilo", a religious procession
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThousands of Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia made their way to city of Lalibela - where there are 11 ancient monolithic structures carved out of solid granite
image copyrightAP
image captionRussian President Vladimir Putin attended a midnight service at a church in the village of Turginovo, about 90 miles (150 km) north-west of Moscow
image copyrightReuters
image captionMany Orthodox Christians in Russia - home to the world's largest Orthodox community - attend night services to mark Christmas. Here, a Russian monk attaches a Christmas tree branch to an icon inside a church ahead of the service
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image captionGreek Orthodox swimmer Nico Solis holds up a wooden cross after retrieving it from the Bosphorus strait during the Blessing of Water ceremony, as part of celebrations of the Epiphany day at the Church of Fener Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey
image copyrightReuters
image captionIn Serbia, many attended the Badnja - or Yule log burning - ceremony in Belgrade
image copyrightReuters
image captionOthers gathered to receive a piece of traditional Christmas bread
image copyrightReuters
image captionServices at Orthodox churches throughout Armenia were well attended for Christmas services
image copyrightAFP/Getty
image captionTwo-thirds of Macedonia's population are Orthodox Christian
image copyrightReuters
image captionIn Belarus, where most Christians follow Eastern Orthodoxy, priests visited military bases to bless troops
image copyrightEPA
image captionIn the West Bank city of Bethlehem, members of a Syrian pipe band paraded outside the Church of the Nativity
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image captionA Palestinian woman in Gaza City lights a candle at the Porphyrios Greek Orthodox church. There are said to be just over 1,000 Christians in Gaza, almost all of them Orthodox
image copyrightReuters
image captionEgypt's President Adbul Fattah al-Sisi greeted Christians at a Christmas Eve Mass in Cairo
image copyrightEPA
image captionExpatriate Orthodox communities in Australia were among the first to celebrate Christmas

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