"On the occasion of Christmas, I wish all the faithful of the Eastern Christian churches the great joy that comes from the family spending this special time together," the President wrote. He extended "wishes of peace and the deep, lasting hope stemming from the birth of Christ in Bethlehem."
The President emphasised that Christmas is a time filled with "an atmosphere of community." "May the new year always bring you a sense of closeness, happiness in the family, and satisfaction in life," he wrote. He went on to refer to this year's centenary of Poland regaining independence. "Let this exceptional year, in which we will celebrate the centenary of regaining independence, be successful for you, full of personal and professional satisfaction, being also an occasion for reflection on the good of our common Motherland - the Republic," Andrzej Duda wrote.
The Orthodox Christian Church and followers of other Eastern Christian traditions that use the Julian calendar, including Greek Catholicism, celebrate Christmas on January 6. According to the last national census, 156,000 people in Poland belong to the Orthodox Church, though the Church's own authorities put the figure at 450,000-500,000. (PAP)