Jill and I wish a joyful Christmas to Orthodox Christians in the United States and around the world who are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and the hope and blessings of this sacred season. Like so many others over the past year, Orthodox Christians have demonstrated great character and resilience, continuing to show love to their neighbors and serve their communities during challenging times. We are keeping in our hearts all those who have lost loved ones during this pandemic and for whom this Christmas will be tinged with grief. Our prayer for all those who are struggling is that you find strength from sorrow and purpose from pain.

As we begin a new year with many Orthodox Christians around the world continuing to face persecution and discrimination, we also reaffirm our unwavering commitment to uphold the universal and inalienable right of religious freedom. 

Christmas reminds us that a Child brought to us a light that shines in the darkness, and that light can never be overcome. We join Orthodox Christians in giving thanks for that promise and in praying for peace, justice, freedom, and healing in the year to come.

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