Orthodox Christian communities are celebrating Christmas. Religious ceremonies were held on Sunday night, attended by members of the congregation, including political and civic leaders.
In Russia. president Vladimir Putin attended a divine service at the Transfiguration Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
In Tbilisi, Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgians, Ilya II led the congregation at divine service at the Holy Trinity Cathedral during which he delivered his Christmas Sermon which this year covered a number of social issues.
Christian Armenians all over the world also celebrated Christmas on Sunday.
photo: Russian president Vladimir Putin lighting a candle during a Christmas divine service in St Petersburg on 7 January 2019 (picture courtesy of kremlin.ru)
"Let us work together constructively because the endeavour is a united and strong Europe," Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs after they confirmed her in the post. She will take up her new role on November 1.
On Monday, 15 July, yet another incident occurred in the vicinity of the David Gareji Monastery which lies on a disputed area of the Georgian-Azerbaijani border. The monastery has turned from a place of worship to a flashpoint, with Georgian religious zealots trying to state their claim on the land as Georgian territory, and Azerbaijani border guards stopping them.