Qatar’s faithful head to church for Christmas services

All photos by Lance Cenar

Thousands of Christians in Qatar flocked to the Religious Complex in Mesaimeer yesterday and today for Christmas prayer services.

The complex is hosting dozens of services in various languages and denominations to accommodate the faithful.

For example, at the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Rosary, prayer services were held in English, Italian, Spanish, Tamil, French, Arabic and Malayalam yesterday.

Lance Cenar

Gift giving

After services, many visitors could be seeing taking photos, singing songs and participating in general merriment as part of the festive season.

As usual, traffic in and around the area was busy yesterday, and will continue to be hectic today.

Hotel celebrations canceled

Elsewhere in Qatar, residents marked Christmas by opening presents, visiting friends and family and heading out to eat.

Many however complained after a spate of hotels canceled some of their festive season celebrations at the last minute.

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The Radison Blu, Hilton Doha and Shangri La all posted on Facebook that the cancelation of Christmas carol singing or appearances by Santa were due to “circumstances beyond their control.”

This has caused some to wonder whether the government ordered the move.

The Qatar Tourism Authority, which regulates the country’s hospitality industry, did not respond to questions about this from Doha News.

Others theorized that the hotels were acting out of solidarity with Aleppo.

A week ago, Qatar’s National Day celebrations were canceled due to the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria.

Are you celebrating Christmas today? Thoughts?

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