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Catholics in Belarus celebrate Christmas Day

December 25, 2013, 15:58 UTC+3 MINSK
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© ITAR-TASS/Pavel Smertin

MINSK, December 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Catholic believers in Belarus, making up around 14 percent of the population, have been celebrating Christmas Day. Christmas sermons are being delivered in Belarusian, Polish and English languages at all the Catholic cathedrals there.

In Minsk, the capital, faithful gathered in the Red Catholic Church of St. Simon and St. Helena,where Metropolitan Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz celebrated mass.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has congratulated all Christian believers celebrating Christmas on December 25. "Throughout millennia, Christmas has been evidence of the triumph of the spiritual origin, a source of creativity and inspiration," he said.

"This great holiday endows everyone with expectations of the new and beautiful and unites people in all their highest dreams and aspirations," Lukashenko said in a message of greeting to Catholic believers.

Catholics account for the second biggest religious confession in Belarus, numbering around 1.4 million believers, most of whom live in the west of the country.

Belarus celebrates Christmas on a state level twice a year - on December 25 for Catholics and on January 7 for Orthodox believers.

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