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In pictures: Orthodox and Coptic Christians prepare for Christmas

In Egypt, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, and Bosnia, Christmas is marked by the Julian calendar, two weeks later than most Western churches, which use the Gregorian calendar

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin crosses himself as he attends the Orthodox Christmas service at the Holy Face of Christ the Savior Church in the Russian southern city of Sochi, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.

Maxim Shemetov/AP

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Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark Cathedral, leads the Coptic Christmas eve mass in Cairo, January 6, 2014.

MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/REUTERS

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Egyptian Coptic Christians watch as Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark Cathedral, leads the Coptic Christmas Eve Mass in Cairo, January 6, 2014.

MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/REUTERS

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Egyptian Coptic Christians watch Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark Cathedral, during the Coptic Christmas Eve Mass in Cairo, January 6, 2014.

MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/REUTERS

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A woman prays inside a makeshift chapel on the eve of Orthodox Christmas in Independence Square where pro-European integration supporters are holding a rally in Kiev, January 6, 2014. Orthodox Ukrainians celebrate Christmas according to the Julian calendar on January 7.

GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS

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Pro-European integration supporters celebrate Orthodox Christmas in Independence Square in Kiev, January 6, 2014.

GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS

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A pro-European integration supporter holds a candle as she celebrates Orthodox Christmas in Independence Square in Kiev, January 6, 2014.

GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS

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A festive decoration is pictured outside the Church of the Nativity during the Orthodox Christmas service in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, January 7, 2014.

ILYA NAYMUSHIN/REUTERS

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Kosovo Serbs, with a flag of Serbia sticking out from the vehicle, transport oak branches on the top of their car as they prepare to celebrate Orthodox Christmas eve in the village of Badovc, near the Serb inhabited town of Gracanica, January 6, 2014. Serbs all over Kosovo celebrate in their villages, town churches and monasteries by gathering to pray and burn dried oak branches and leaves, which they believe will bring luck for the new year.

HAZIR REKA/REUTERS

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A local Kosovo Serb with his son celebrates Orthodox Christmas eve in the courtyard of the Monastary of Gracanica, southeast of Kosovo's capital Pristina, January 6, 2014.

HAZIR REKA/REUTERS

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A woman stands outside the Holy Face of Christ the Savior Church during the Orthodox Christmas service in the Russian southern city of Sochi January 7, 2014.

MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends the Orthodox Christmas service at the Holy Face of Christ the Savior Church in Sochi, January 7, 2014.

RIA NOVOSTI/REUTERS

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Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill conducts the Christmas mass in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Jan. 6, 2014.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

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