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Christmas celebrations have been officially launched in the Diocese of Eastern USA, with a tree-lighting ceremony in Chicago by the state's council of church committees.

Christmas tree lights up in Chicago

Christmas celebrations have been officially launched in the Diocese of Eastern USA, with a tree-lighting ceremony in Chicago by the state’s council of church committees.

The ceremony, held on the 26th of November, was attended by Chorbishop Dr Gewargis Toma and many deacons and church members.

Evening prayers (Sloota d Ramsha) took place in the Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle.

The church garden featured a big tree, decorated with lights and ornaments painted with the Assyrian national flag and the slogan ‘Church of the East’.

Attending church members took part in prayer and thanked the Lord for peace in parts of the world.

Following the lighting ceremony, the faithful were presented  with hymns by the church choir.

Chorbishop Dr Gewargis Toma delivered a sermon about the week of the Annunciation and prayed for peace across the world, especially our beloved homeland of Iraq.

This carnival included a treat for children with Santa Claus making a surprise visit to the festival market, where proceeds of sales were to support future church buildings.

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