Michelle and I wish a joyful Christmas to Orthodox Christians in the United States and around the world. During this sacred season, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and reflect on the commandment that we love one another as He has loved us. We are grateful for the many ways in which Orthodox Christians have shown such love to their neighbors and strengthened both religious and civic bonds. As worship services take place in churches across the nation and around the world, we reaffirm our commitment to protect the universal and inalienable right of all people to practice their faith and stand in solidarity with communities and congregations that have been persecuted and subjected to violent attacks. As we enter this new year, we join our Orthodox brothers and sisters in praying and working for peace and justice.