Orthodox Christians in the Caucasus, Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe and beyond are celebrating Christmas. Religious services were held in Cathedrals and Churches throughout the world.
In Tbilisi, Catholicos Patriarch of all Georgians, Ilya II in his Christmas message spoke about family values, which he said the Georgian people still cherish despite everything."Georgia has endured invasions for centuries, but today we are facing a greater test. All of us - the people and the clergy, who appreciate homeland and family, must first and foremost correct our own lives. We must overcome our sins and their result that is death. We must celebrate the victory of life and the good."
Christmas liturgy begun in the Holy Trinity Church in Tbilisi yesterday night at 11pm. The ceremony was led by the Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II, as well as members of the Holy Synod and clergymen. The celebration continued overnight in the Cathedral and in all Orthodox churches of Georgia and was attended by lots of believers, officials among them.
photo: Patriarch Illia II of Georgia (picture courtesy of Inter-Press news).
A raft of issues are complicating relations between long time allies Turkey and the United States. But both sides continue using diplomatic back-channels to get as many concessions as possible from each other without fatally harming bilateral relations, argues Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed