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MOSCOW, January 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Orthodox Christians and all Russians on Christmas celebrated according to the Julian calendar on Saturday, the Kremlin press service said.
"The Christmas days illuminate our life with special joy, wake the kindest feelings, and bring us to the spiritual origin and traditions. This is the time for good thoughts and deeds, sincere care about the near ones and those who need assistance and support," the president’s congratulatory telegram says.
The Russian president noted the huge and unique role of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian denominations in reviving high moral values and preserving rich historic and cultural heritage.
"They do a lot for harmonizing international and inter-religious dialogue, preserving civil peace and accord in this country. Such a great and constructive work deserves deep gratitude and respect," he said.
Orthodox Christians in Russia and other countries celebrate Christmas according to the Julian calendar on January 7, two weeks after most western Christian churches that use the Gregorian calendar. The Russian Orthodox Church today has more than 30,000 churches and 800 monasteries in almost 70 countries. Religious services are conducted during the night and in the morning in all Orthodox churches on all continents.