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Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas

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The Russian Orthodox Church is celebrating Christmas, the second most important religious holiday after Easter.
MOSCOW, January 7 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Orthodox Church is celebrating Christmas, the second most important religious holiday after Easter.

The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas Day on January 7, in line with the old Julian calendar. The Russian Orthodox Church believes that Christmas symbolizes reconciliation between God and Man, anticipating Christ's redemptive feat, as well as the renewal of man's nature that was corrupted by his sinful forefathers.

On the night of January 6-7, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II conducted a service at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which gathered about 5,000 believers.

Under the statute of the Orthodox Church, Christmas Day is preceded by a 40-day fast, from November 28 until January 6.

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