In pictures: Christmas around the world

From Australia to the Americas, services marking one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar have been taking place. Here are some of the best images from around the world.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Catholic children dressed up as angelsImage copyright

Sri Lankan Catholic children dressed up as angels at St Anthony’s Church. On Easter Sunday, the church was the first of three to be targeted by suicide bombers – 54 people were killed here, and more than 300 across the country.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

A worshiper lights a candle at St. Joseph"s Cathedral Catholic Church in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 24 December 2019Image copyright

A worshipper lights a candle at St Joseph’s Cathedral. The UAE has a vibrant Catholic community, with Filipinos making up more than 5% of the population.

Hanoi, Vietnam

A woman takes a selfie outside . Joseph"s cathedral in Hanoi on December 24, 2019.Image copyright

A woman takes a selfie outside the 19th-Century St Joseph’s Cathedral in Vietnam’s capital.

Paris, France

midnight mass for Christmas at the Saint Germain l"Auxerrois church in Paris, France, 25 December 2019Image copyright

Bishop Philippe Marsset leads a midnight Mass at the Saint Germain l’Auxerrois church. For the first time in more than 200 years, Christmas Mass was not held in Notre-Dame cathedral after the devastating fire there in April.

Nairobi, Kenya

Christmas eve vigil mass in the Fort Jesus area of Nairobi, Kenya, December 25, 2019Image copyright

Mass is held at midnight in the Fort Jesus area of the Kenyan capital.

Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories

Christmas midnight mass in the Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem in the West Bank, 25 December 2019Image copyright

Midnight Mass takes place in the West Bank town where the Bible says Jesus was born.

Vatican City

Pope Francis leads a Christmas Eve mass in St Peter's BasilicaImage copyright

In his seventh Christmas Mass, Pope Francis said God loved “even the worst of us”, a message likely to be interpreted as a reference to Church scandals.

Sydney, Australia

A mural depicting Scott Morrison wearing an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirtImage copyright

Just in time for Christmas, a mural appeared in Sydney criticising Prime Minister Scott Morrison for taking a Hawaiian holiday as the country suffered extreme wildfires.

All pictures copyright