Christmas celebrated across Türkiye with prayers for world peace

Tue, 27 Dec 2022 9:40 GMT
Prayers made for happiness, tranquility, friendship, fraternity, solidarity, tolerance.
Christmas celebrated across Türkiye with prayers for world peace

Christmas has been celebrated across Türkiye on Sunday with prayers for world peace.

In Istanbul, Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew led the mass, which started early in the morning at the Hagia Yorgi Church in the patriarchate’s garden.

In addition to Greeks living in Türkiye, people from other countries also showed interest in the ritual, in which candles were lit, prayers were offered and hymns were sung.

The country’s northwestern province of Edirne was another province that celebrated Christmas with rituals and prayers.

Christians living in Bulgaria and Edirne attended the mass held at the Sveti Georgi Church in the Barutluk neighborhood.

Priest Aleksandr Cikirik recited hymns and prayers about Jesus Christ from the Bible, while the participants lit candles and prayed.

The participants prayed for tranquility and peace for all as well as friendship and fraternity among people.

Meanwhile, people also gathered in Türkiye’s southeastern province of Mardin to celebrate Christmas. Rituals were held in the historical churches in the central Artuklu and Midyat districts of the province.

The service prayed for unity, solidarity, and world peace. Later, hymns and prayers were recited in Syriac and Turkish, while those who attended the service were blessed.

Participants underscored that wars and intolerance damage humanity, adding that love, peace, and solidarity have to be strengthened among people along with world peace and tranquility.

The southeastern Hatay province, another province where people from different ethnicities and religious beliefs live in solidarity, also celebrated Christmas.

Hatay is the city of fraternity and friendship for centuries, participants stressed and said that they wish the city would set an example for the whole world.

In addition to Mardin and Hatay, Christmas was also celebrated in Türkiye’s southeastern province of Diyarbakir.

In the Christmas mass held in the Church of the Virgin Mary in the historical Sur district, sweets were served to the participants at the end of the ceremony, where the Syriacs lit candles and made wishes.

The Christian community in Türkiye attended services at churches across the country to celebrate Christmas.

Türkiye's President Erdogan extends Christmas greetings

Erdogan expressed hope that Christmas will be “instrumental in the development of the climate of solidarity.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has extended Christmas greetings to Christians in Türkiye and across the world.

In a message, Erdogan said he congratulates the whole Christian world, especially Turkish Christian citizens, and wishes them well on Saturday.

"In line with the values of the civilization to which we belong, we consider the existence of different religions and cultures as a richness," Erdogan said.

"This understanding, which is the basis of the peace and security, unity and solidarity of our nation, is our most important power that will enable us to live together peacefully in the future."

He expressed hope that Christmas will be “instrumental in the development of the climate of solidarity.”

For Christians, Christmas marks the birth of Jesus Christ.

One of the most significant celebrations in Christian culture, Christmas Eve is observed by most non-Orthodox Christians on December 24 every year.


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