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An Egyptian Coptic Christian priest administers the Blessed Sacraments during Christmas Eve Mass at St. Markos Church in Minya, 220 kilometers (135 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt, where two policemen guarding the church were shot dead earlier in the day by unknown gunmen, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015.Roger Anis/The Associated Press

Across the world, Orthodox Christians are celebrating Christmas with Mass and prayers.

In Russia, both Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and President Vladimir Putin attended Christmas morning Mass early Wednesday.

At the Church of the Nativity, built over the West Bank grotto that Christians believe is the site of Jesus' birth, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attended Mass early Wednesday as well.

In Egypt, Coptic Christians celebrated on Tuesday night with Mass on Christmas Eve. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi attended one such Mass, escorted by Coptic Pope Tawadros II.

Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, in accordance with the Julian calendar. This was largely replaced in western Europe by the Gregorian calendar 500 years ago.