Christmas worldwide

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In France, the busy Christmas period has been marred by a series of attacks, including one linked to Islamic extremism. On Christmas morning in Australia, church leaders reflected on several tragedies that hit the country this year, including the Sydney cafe siege. In Sierra Leone, all public Christmas festivities were cancelled as a result of the Ebola crisis. n Syria, Christians in the war-torn city of Homs were enjoying their first Christmas in three years in the Hamidiyeh neighborhood in the middle of the ruins. In Baghdad, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako said about 150,000 Christians had been displaced by an offensive spearheaded by the Islamic State group.

For the rest f the world Christmas was a time of joy. Volunteers took phone calls from children asking where Santa is and when he will deliver presents to their homes, inside a phone-in center during the annual NORAD Tracks Santa Operation, at the North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. The Americans are experiencing their lowest levels of holiday stress in years, according to a new CNN/ORC nationwide poll:: 95% said they celebrate Christmas. A research carried out by Associated British Foods recently found that in the U.S. the average person eats more than 7,000 calories on Christmas day.

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