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PHOTOS: Despite Persecution, Christians Observe Christmas in the Middle East

The world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25, including Christians in the Middle East, where–despite persecution or threats–they celebrated the birthday of their Savior.

Iran’s Constitution provides protection for most religion minorities, but Christians claim President Hassan Rouhani has made it increasingly difficult to openly run Christian churches. However, Christians in Iran still observed Christ’s birth.

Christians in Pakistan also face constant persecution. Recently, a gang of Muslim men raped a Christian woman. No one responded to her screams, and human rights activists believe they will not face punishment. The aggression towards their religion did not stop Christians from honoring Christ, however.

Saudi Arabia is one of the strictest Islamic nations in the world. Christians must worship in their private homes and cannot practice their faith in the open. But these Christians did not allow rules to interfere with Christmas.

Iraq and Syria are close to losing their Christian population, mainly due to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). The remaining Christians still glorified Christ on His birthday.

Christians in other Middle East countries spread Christmas well wishes, sharing pictures on social media, as well.

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