The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has congratulated Pope Benedict XVI and all those who celebrate Christmas on December 25 in line with the Gregorian calendar.
"I heartily congratulate you on the great feast of the Nativity of Christ and New Year," Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said in a message posted on the Russian Church's website.
"In conditions of today's civilization, when many people lose spiritual and moral guidelines, the Star of Bethlehem keeps illuminating the path to God for those who sincerely long for the light of the Divine Truth," he said.
Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans and some Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas on December 25.
The Russian, Jerusalem, Serbian and Georgian Orthodox churches, Athos monasteries, some Catholics and some Protestants celebrate the feast on January 7 in line with the Julian calendar.
MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti)