Slavic Christians Celebrate Orthodox Christmas Today

Photo shows a representation of the twelve dish meal that Ukrainians eat to celebrate Christmas. (Photo courtesy of Jacques Hnizdovsky, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Merry Christmas! Millions of Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus today thanks to a difference between the Catholic Gregorian calendar (now used by most of the world) and that of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Catholic church started using the Gregorian calendar in 1582, well after the Great Schism with the Orthodox church in the 11th century. Read more here.

Eric Mock of the Slavic Gospel Association says Slavic Christians see Christmas less as a day and more as an opportunity for fellowship and evangelism lasting from January 7th to about January 12th. “A part of their tradition during the Christmas season involves opening one’s home to other guests. In Ukraine, it was a little different. If you entered a house, they would actually hand you a fork and allow you to participate in one of the 12 different little plates they had on the table. And you were singing Christmas carols and sharing a devotion right there in their living room. And then you were praying for the family.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray the hearts of many people will be open to the Gospel during this Orthodox Christmas season.
  • Ask God to protect Slavic Christians as they celebrate and minister.