MOSCOW, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a message of "joy and hope" to Orthodox Church followers and all Russians celebrating Christmas Friday.
Russian, Jerusalem, Serbian and Georgian Orthodox churches, Athos monasteries and some Catholics and Protestants celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7 (instead of Dec. 25) in accordance with the Julian calendar.
In his message, Medvedev said, "Let Christmas give everyone confidence, give joy and hope," RIA Novosti reported. "Christmas brings us to the timeless values of love and kindness."
Orthodox followers "have been serving through centuries to strengthen moral values and unity of Russian people," Medvedev said.