Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias celebrated Christmas Mass on Wednesday at the Fener Greek Patriarchate in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul.

The mass, officiated by Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew, began at 9 a.m. local time (0600GMT) at the church in the patriarchate’s garden.

At the mass, the faithful lit candles and prayed.

For Christians, Christmas marks the birth of Jesus Christ.

One of the cornerstone celebrations of Christian culture, Christmas is observed by most non-Orthodox Christians every Dec. 25, but next Jan. 7 for some, due to a difference in calendars.

The Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul serves

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