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Thu 26 Dec 2019 10:58 AM

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In pictures: Christmas was celebrated around the Middle East

Pope Francis on Wednesday urged the world community to strive for peace and security in war-ravaged Syria and the Middle East in his Christmas message

In pictures: Christmas was celebrated around the Middle East

A view of Burj Al Arab from Madinat Jumeirah during Christmas Day in Dubai. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

In pictures: Christmas was celebrated around the Middle East

Christians spend their Christmas Day on the beach in Kuwait City. YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images

In pictures: Christmas was celebrated around the Middle East

Bishop Paul Abdel Sater, Curial Bishop of the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch, swings a censer during the Christmas Morning mass at the Maronite Cathedral of St George in the capital Beirut's downtown district on Christmas Day. ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images

In pictures: Christmas was celebrated around the Middle East

Worshippers receive communion during Christmas morning mass at the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Syria's northern city of Aleppo. AFP/Getty Images

In pictures: Christmas was celebrated around the Middle East

Iraqi Kurds dressed as Santa Claus perform during Christmas celebrations at a shopping mall in the eponymous northern Iraqi city and capital of the autonomous Kurdish region. SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images

In pictures: Christmas was celebrated around the Middle East

Members of the the Syriac Orthodox community attend the Christmas Mass St. Mary Church in the centre of Diyarbakir. ILYAS AKENGIN/AFP/Getty Images

In pictures: Christmas was celebrated around the Middle East

Worshippers attend the midnight Christmas Eve mass at Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in the Egyptian capital Cairo in the central downtown district. MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images

In pictures: Christmas was celebrated around the Middle East

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a wooden relic reputed to be part of Jesus's manger, as he speaks with the acting Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa during a Christmas midnight mass in the Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. MUSSA ISSA QAWASMA/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

In pictures: Christmas was celebrated around the Middle East

Iraqi Christians attend a Christmas Eve service at the Church of Um al-Noor in Arbil, the eponymous northern Iraqi city and capital of the autonomous Kurdish region. SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images