Christmas Eve Marked With Solemn Masses, Silly Santas
Pope Francis led a Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican while Santas popped up around the world on the day before Christmas.
Faithful from a Catholic church take part in a Christmas Eve parade in Shanghai.
Chloe, a Lebanese Christian teenager dressed as Santa Claus, hands a gift to a Syrian refugee during a gift distribution in Dbayeh, north of Beirut.
People dressed as Father Frost and Snow Maidens march along a street during a traditional Christmas parade in Minsk. Most of the Christians in Belarus are Orthodox and will celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7.
Christians attend a Christmas Eve service at the Mar Shimoni church in Bartalla, near Mosul, for the first time since its recapture from ISIS in a massive military operation. ISIS seized Bartalla and swathes of other territory north and west of Baghdad in the summer of 2014, leaving Christians with the grim choices of conversion, paying a tax, fleeing or death.
Thousands of people gather near a Christmas tree for the "Grand Bell Ringing" in Frankfurt. The event is held before major religious holidays and involves 10 inner city church towers ringing their bells for a 30-minute concert.
Santa Claus ice skates in the rain at Rockefeller Center.
Children hold candles during a service at St. Paul's Cathedral.
A man decorates a tree for Christmas in a Christian neighborhood of Islamabad.
Santa Claus water skis with elves on the Potomac River in Alexandria, just down the river from the nation's capital.
A child lights candles at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi.
The Nativity scene, background left, and a Christmas tree adorn St. Peter's Square prior to the start of the Christmas Eve Mass.
Santa Claus rides a scooter to an annual biker's meeting in Hagen.