News / Europe

Christmas Marked Around the World

For Some, Holiday Spirit Contrasts With Harsher Realitiesi
X
December 25, 2013 7:24 PM
Around the world, Christians — and even some non-Christians — get into the jolly spirit as they mark Christmas. But for some of the world's less fortunate, the joy and happiness of a holiday about peace and goodwill contrasts with harsher realities. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
VIDEO: Around the world, Christians — and even some non-Christians — get into the jolly spirit as they mark Christmas. But for some of the world's less fortunate, the joy and happiness of a holiday about peace and goodwill contrasts with harsher realities.
Pamela Dockins
World and religious leaders have marked the December 25 Christmas holiday with celebrations and messages to their supporters. Some leaders have focused on peace and reconciliation.

Pope Francis delivers his Pope Francis delivers his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the City and to the World) message from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Dec. 25, 2013.
x
Pope Francis delivers his
Pope Francis delivers his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the City and to the World) message from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Dec. 25, 2013.
As he stood on the balcony at St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis focused on some of the world's hot spots as he delivered his first "Urbi et Orbi" message to the city and world.

He said "too many lives have been shattered" by the conflict in Syria. He called for "social harmony" to be fostered in South Sudan. And he expressed hope for a "favorable outcome" to peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

Pilgrims from around the world have gathered for religious celebrations in Bethlehem. The Palestinian West Bank town is the biblical birthplace of Jesus.

At a Christmas eve service, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal offered a message of hope. "Our message is a message of love and peace and brotherhood between all of us. Happy new year to you all," he said.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth receives flowers from children as she leaves a Christmas Day morning service at the church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, eastern England, Dec. 25, 2013.Britain's Queen Elizabeth receives flowers from children as she leaves a Christmas Day morning service at the church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, eastern England, Dec. 25, 2013.
x
Britain's Queen Elizabeth receives flowers from children as she leaves a Christmas Day morning service at the church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, eastern England, Dec. 25, 2013.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth receives flowers from children as she leaves a Christmas Day morning service at the church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, eastern England, Dec. 25, 2013.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth has delivered her annual Christmas message to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. She said Christmas can be a time of reflection.

"Reflection can take many forms, when families and friends come together at Christmas, it is often a time for happy memories and reminiscing. Our thoughts are with those who we have loved who are no longer with us," she said.

In his Christmas message, U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to U.S. troops stationed overseas.


"Our extraordinary men and women in uniform are serving so that the rest of us can enjoy the blessings we cherish during the holidays. But that means many of our troops are far from home and far from family," he stated.

Victims of super Typhoon Haiyan decorate their improvised Christmas tree with empty cans and bottles at the ravaged town of Anibong, Tacloban city, central Philippines Dec. 24, 2013, a month after Typhoon Haiyan battered central Philippines.Victims of super Typhoon Haiyan decorate their improvised Christmas tree with empty cans and bottles at the ravaged town of Anibong, Tacloban city, central Philippines Dec. 24, 2013, a month after Typhoon Haiyan battered central Philippines.
x
Victims of super Typhoon Haiyan decorate their improvised Christmas tree with empty cans and bottles at the ravaged town of Anibong, Tacloban city, central Philippines Dec. 24, 2013, a month after Typhoon Haiyan battered central Philippines.
Victims of super Typhoon Haiyan decorate their improvised Christmas tree with empty cans and bottles at the ravaged town of Anibong, Tacloban city, central Philippines Dec. 24, 2013, a month after Typhoon Haiyan battered central Philippines.
There was a message of hope at a Christmas mass in the Philippine city of Tacloban, where people are still reeling from the effects of a November typhoon that killed thousands and displaced millions.

In a church that was damaged by the storm, Assistant Parish Priest Madeo Alvero urged worshippers to look to the future. "We may be homeless. We may be roofless but we are not hopeless," he said. He added, "This is our battle cry."

He urged worshippers to have hope that the city and the province would rise again.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 25, 2013 6:59 PM
Thank you VOA for providing various footages celebrating Christmas from around the world. No one except for VOA would be able to do this kind of work. Thank you very much.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs