Christmas Across The Globe In Pictures!
From Australia to the Americas, services and events have been taking place to mark one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar. Here are some of the best images from around the world.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The exiled former President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has a Christmas breakfast with members of the Bolivian community of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Catholic children dressed up as angels at St Anthony’s Church. On Easter Sunday, the church was the first of three to be targeted by suicide bombers – 54 people were killed here, and more than 300 across the country.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
A worshipper lights a candle at St Joseph’s Cathedral. The UAE has a vibrant Catholic community, with Filipinos making up more than 5% of the population.
A woman takes a selfie outside the 19th Century St Joseph’s Cathedral in Vietnam’s capital.
Bishop Philippe Marsset leads a midnight Mass at the Saint Germain l’Auxerrois church. For the first time in more than 200 years, Christmas Mass was not held in Notre-Dame cathedral after the devastating fire there in April.
Worshippers attend prayers at Peshawar’s St Johns Cathedral Church. Christians make up about 1.6% of Pakistan’s population and, like other religious minorities in Muslim-majority Pakistan, have been the target of escalating attacks in recent years.
Mass is held at midnight in the Fort Jesus area.
Christmas Mass is celebrated at the St Matthew’s Cathedral Church in the Sudanese capital.
Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories
Midnight Mass takes place in the West Bank town where the Bible says Jesus was born.
In his seventh Christmas Mass, Pope Francis said God loved “even the worst of us”, a message likely to be interpreted as a reference to Church scandals.
Christmas morning Mass is held at a Syriac Orthodox Church in Aleppo in war-torn Syria. The country’s Christian community is one of the oldest in the world, going back two millennia. The vast majority belong to Eastern denominations – the Greek Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church.
In Iraq, Christians attend a Christmas Mass at the St George Anglican Church as anti-government protests, which started in October, continue. One estimate says the Christian community in the country has fallen from about 1.5 million in 2003 to just 250,000 as many have fled.
Just in time for Christmas, a mural appeared in Sydney criticising Prime Minister Scott Morrison for taking a Hawaiian holiday as the country suffered extreme bushfires.
In the German capital, members of the Berlin Seals swimming club took their traditional Christmas dip in the Orankesee lake.
Christmas revellers also took to the water in Barcelona for the 110th edition of the “Copa Nadal” (Christmas Cup) swimming competition – where hundreds gather at the city’s old harbour to race 200m.
COURTESY TO BBC NEWS