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Russians stream to churches for Orthodox Christmas

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jDDN-nqLclgVSuRGLrGLteVGIvOA Russians stream to churches for Orthodox Christmas 4 hours ago MOSCOW - Russians
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2008
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      http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jDDN-nqLclgVSuRGLrGLteVGIvOA

      Russians stream to churches for Orthodox Christmas

      4 hours ago

      MOSCOW - Russians crowded into candlelit churches and stood solemnly
      for hours Sunday night as priests chanted the liturgy for masses
      celebrating Orthodox Christmas.

      Christmas falls on Jan. 7 for Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land,
      Russia and other Orthodox churches that use the old Julian calendar
      instead of the 16th-century Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics
      and Protestants and commonly used in secular life around the world.

      Patriarch Alexy II, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, presided at
      the country's most symbolically important Mass, at Christ the Savior
      Cathedral near the Kremlin in downtown Moscow.

      The cathedral, a reconstruction of the church dynamited under the
      officially atheist Communist regime of Josef Stalin, embodies the
      Orthodox Church's resurgent importance in the post-Soviet era.

      Dmitry Medvedev, the first deputy prime minister who is all but
      certain to be elected President Vladimir Putin's successor in March,
      was prominently shown in state-controlled television's live broadcast
      of the Mass.

      Putin attended a Christmas mass at a smaller church in Veliky Ustyug,
      about 650 kilometres northeast of Moscow.
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