Jill and I wish a blessed Christmas to Orthodox Christians in the United States and around the world. This sacred season looks different this year; many families will grieve an empty seat at the table or forgo favorite holiday traditions to keep each other safe. Yet, as we mark the birth of Jesus Christ, we know that faith, hope, and love continue to light the way, even on the darkest of days, and they will sustain us through the most difficult trials.

As we honor the many contributions of Orthodox Christians in the United States and around the world, we reaffirm the right of all people to practice their religion as they choose and our commitment to stand with religious minorities who at times face discrimination and violence. With the hope of a new year before us, we join our Orthodox sisters and brothers in hopeful prayer for peace, justice, and healing the world over.

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