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Christian celebrations around the world Christmas marked around the world
(about 7 hours later)
Across the world, Christians have begun marking Christmas with services, with Pope Francis holding midnight mass at the Vatican. Across the world, billions of Christians are marking Christmas, the traditional birthday of Jesus Christ.
In the holy city of Bethlehem, the West Bank town where it is believed that Jesus was born, events have been overshadowed by recent violence between Palestinians and Israelis.
"There's lights, there's carols, but there's an underlying sense of tension," one pilgrim to Bethlehem, Briton Paul Haines, told Associated Press news agency.
Vatican CityVatican City