Faithful Celebrate Orthodox Christmas In Former Soviet Republics
Christians in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan have celebrated Orthodox Christmas in a church once used to execute prisoners during the Soviet era, the Chuvash St. Paraskeva Church in Kazan, the capital of the mainly Muslim republic. Orthodox Christian Kryashen-Tatars gathered separately in the Tikhvin Church in Kazan, where services are held in a distinct dialect of the Tatar language. Ceremonies were also held in at the Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, the largest Orthodox church in Central Asia. In the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, Orthodox Christians marched in their annual "Alilo" Christmas procession.