Orthodox Christians around the world are welcoming Christmas.
In Russia, President Vladimir Putin attended church services at the Troitsa-Georgievsk women's monastery in the village of Lesnoye Adlersky in the Sochi region.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attended services at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, where the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, conducted the Mass.
Kirill urged worshippers to "preserve the faith in your hearts and deeds."
Kirill also urged the people of Russia to "adopt orphans into their families…giving them their love."
The patriarch's comments come after Putin signed a law on December 28 that bans Russian orphans from being adopted by families in the United States.
Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Reuters