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Orthodox Christians Observe Christmas Amid Virus Concerns

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill delivers the Christmas Liturgy in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, on Jan. 6.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill delivers the Christmas Liturgy in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, on Jan. 6.

Photographer: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Photo

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Moscow (AP) -- Orthodox Christians in Russia, Serbia and other countries observed Christmas on Friday amid restrictions aimed at dampening the spread of the coronavirus, but few worshipers appeared concerned as they streamed into churches on Christmas Eve.

The majority of Orthodox believers celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, with midnight services especially popular. The churches in Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece mark the Nativity of Jesus on Dec. 25 along with other Christian denominations.