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Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Community Observes Epiphany (Photos)

CONSTANTINOPLE — With no visiting faithful from Greece or other Christian Orthodox countries, due to the coronavirus pandemic, only two swimmers raced to retrieve the cross in a ceremony commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ,in Istanbul on Wednesday, Jan. 6. 

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, handed out a wooden crucifix to a faithful that jumped into the waters of the Golden Horn to retrieve it, during the Epiphany ceremony.

Greek Orthodox faithful Vasili Kurkcu, 44, who successfully retrieved the cross, expressed joy and said that although the water was cold, he did not feel much as it was sunny out there.

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