IN PICTURES: Christmas lights and festivities around the world

Muslim volunteers in Indonesia are also on standby to provide additional security if requested

By
AAGENCIES

QUETTA/JAKARTA: Christmas church services and other celebrations are being held this weekend under the gaze of armed guards and security cameras in many countries after numerous instances of bombings and attacks.

Christmas shoppers look at a shop window in Oxford Street, London, Britain, December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
 
A man carries a toy reindeer on Oxford Street as Christmas shopping entered the final countdown to Christmas Day, London, Britain, December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
 
People take photos inside a house lit up by Christmas light installations in Rizal, Manila, Philippines, December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao
 
A woman stands outside of a house lit up by Christmas light installations in Rizal, Manila, Philippines, December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao
Santa Claus rides in his sleigh as he prepares for Christmas in the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland, December 15, 2016. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski/Files
Students dressed in Santa Claus costumes take part during Christmas celebrations at Jirasart school in Ayutthaya, Thailand, December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
 
People dressed as Christmas trees react as they attend the draw of Spain's Christmas Lottery "El Gordo" (The Fat One) in Madrid, Spain, December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera
 

Majority-Muslim countries in Asia and the Middle East were particularly nervous after US President Donald Trump’s recent announcement he intends to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a decision that has outraged many Muslims.

Christmas lights decorations are lit at the Halliwell family home in Roseville Terrace in Fairfield, Connecticut, US, December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Wood
Christmas decorations light up the street on Carnaby Street in central London, Britain, December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
 
People take photos near a Christmas tree outside a mall at the shopping district of Orchard Road in Singapore, December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A Santa Claus decoration stands above the German Christmas Market in Birmingham, Britain, December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples
Pope Francis delivers his message to the Roman Curia on the occasion of Christmas in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican, December 21, 2017. REUTERS/ Claudio Peri/Pool
Window cleaners dressed as Santa Claus (R) and a reindeer (L) pose for photographers as they clean a glass window at an event to celebrate the upcoming Christmas at DECKS Tokyo Beach in Tokyo, Japan, December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
 
People are seen celebrating Christmas during a festival in Damascus, Syria, December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

In Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, police said they had stepped up security around churches and tourist sites, mindful of near-simultaneous attacks on churches there at Christmas in 2000 that killed about 20 people.

Muslim volunteers in Indonesia are also on standby to provide additional security if requested.

People walk under festive decorations for the upcoming New Year and Christmas season in central Moscow, Russia, December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor
A woman stands under an umbrella decorated with lights near a Christmas tree in central Kiev, Ukraine, December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
Boys decorate a church ahead of Christmas celebrations in a Christian neighbourhood in Islamabad, Pakistan, December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
 
Children dressed in Santa Claus costumes wave as they participate in Christmas celebrations at a school in Chandigarh, India, December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Ajay Verma
A general view of the Christmas market on the square in front of the world famous gothic cathedral in Cologne, Germany, November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen/Files
Pakistani children dressed as Santa Claus sing songs during the Christmas Carnival at the St Patrick Church in Karachi, Pakistan, December 22, 2017. AFP/Rizwan Tabassum
Nigerien commis chefs install a buffet next to a Christmas tree — for a Christmas dinner with the French president and French troops participating in France's Barkhane mission in Africa's Sahel — on the French Air Force base in Niamey, December 22, 2017. AFP/Ludovic Marin
 

Egypt’s Christian minority has been targeted in several attacks in recent years, including the bombing of two churches in the north of the country on Palm Sunday in April.

A boy plays with a man dressed as Father Frost in front of a 2018 sign and a Christmas tree in Minsk, December 21, 2017. AFP/Sergei Gapon
A reindeer Christmas decoration stands tall at CityCenterDC in downtown Washington, DC, US, December 21, 2017. AFP/Eva Hambach
The entrance to a Christmas market on the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, December 21, 2017. AFP/Christophe Archambault
 
People arrive at the Christmas Hall during a Live Nativity Scene in the Postojna Cave, Postojna, December 21, 2017. AFP/Jure Makovec
A woman works preparing traditional Mexican pinatas for sale at a market in Acolman, Mexico, December 18, 2017. AFP/Ronaldo Schemidt
 
A general view shows a Christmas tree being decorated in the Christian-majority neighbourhood of Hamidiyeh in the old city of Homs, Syria, December 17, 2017. AFP/Youssef Karwashan
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A Christmas tree stands at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City, US, December 20, 2017. AFP/Spencer Platt/Getty Images

German police brought in experts and an explosives robot to investigate a suspicious package at a Christmas market in the city of Bonn late on Friday.

Germany is on high alert a year after a failed Tunisian asylum seeker killed 12 people when he hijacked a truck and drove it into a Berlin Christmas market.