A believer in an Orthodox church. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

07 January 2020, 12:26

Caucasian Orthodox believers celebrate Christmas

Christmas services are held in the temples located in the regions of Southern Russia and Southern Caucasus. In some regions, celebrations are held under enhanced security measures.

In 2019, same as in 2016-2018, Christmas services in churches and people's festivities in the regions of Southern Russia were held under strengthened police supervision.

On January 6, 2020, believers of the Russian, Georgian, Jerusalem and Serbian Orthodox Churches celebrated their Christmas Eve.

In Grozny, in the Saint Michael the Archangel Church, on the eve of the Nativity of Christ, a festive service was held. The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, congratulated Orthodox believers and emphasized that "comfortable conditions have been created in the republic so that believers can live in accordance with their religious beliefs, cultural and national traditions," the Grozny-inform" has reported.

All the churches of North Ossetia hold festive services. In his appeal, Rashid Temrezov, the head of Karachay-Cherkessia, has noted that "the principles of the Nativity of Christ are clear and close to people of all faiths."

In Abkhazia, the liturgy was held in the Sukhumi Cathedral. According to Valery Biguaa, an ethnologist, Abkhazians had brought their own traditional elements into the Christian holiday; in particular, they lay tables and light candles in honour of the deceased, the "Sputnik-Abkhazia" writes.

Ilia II, Catholicos of All Georgia, served the festive liturgy at the Holy Trinity Cathedral – Sameba in Tbilisi. He addressed his prayer to God's Mother for the restoration of Georgian borders and the protection of all its inhabitants, the "Sputnik-Georgia" reports.

On January 7, the traditional Christmas procession "Alilo" will take place in Tbilisi.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 7, 2020 at 03:28 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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