Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world, but it is not celebrated by all Christians. There are a number of Christian religions that do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th for various reasons. Some of these religions follow the Eastern Orthodox calendar, which places Christmas on January 7th. Others believe that Christmas is a pagan holiday that has no biblical basis. Still others believe that the date of Christmas is not important, and that Christians should focus on the spiritual significance of the holiday rather than the date on which it is celebrated.
Here are 10 Christian religions that do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th:
- Coptic Orthodox Christianity
- Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity
- Russian Orthodox Christianity
- Armenian Apostolic Church
- Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Seventh-day Adventists
- Assemblies of Yahweh
- Messianic Jews
- World Mission Society Church of God
Christian Religions that Don’t Celebrate Christmas
1. Coptic Orthodox Christian Religion
Coptic Orthodox Christians are the largest Christian denomination in Egypt, accounting for over 90% of the country’s Christian population. They follow the Eastern Orthodox calendar, which places Christmas on January 7th. Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas with a special Mass and a feast.
Christmas is a national holiday in Egypt, even though it is not celebrated by all Christians in the country. This is because Coptic Orthodox Christians are the dominant Christian denomination in Egypt. Other Christian denominations, such as Catholics and Protestants, celebrate Christmas on December 25th.
Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas with a special Mass and a feast. The Mass is typically held in the evening of January 6th, and the feast is held on January 7th. The feast is a traditional Coptic Orthodox meal that includes dishes such as roast lamb, rice, and stuffed vegetables.
In addition to the Mass and the feast, Coptic Orthodox Christians also celebrate Christmas with other activities such as singing carols, exchanging gifts, and visiting family and friends. Christmas is a time for Coptic Orthodox Christians to come together and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
2. Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Religion
Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity is the largest Christian denomination in Ethiopia, with almost 50 million followers. It is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, dating back to the 4th century. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians follow the Eastern Orthodox calendar, so they celebrate Christmas on January 7th.
Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas, also known as Genna, is a major holiday in Ethiopia. It is celebrated with a special Mass, a feast, and a traditional game called Genna. Genna is a team sport played with sticks and a leather ball. It is believed to have originated from the shepherds who were tending their flocks on the night that Jesus was born.
In the weeks leading up to Genna, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians fast for 43 days. This fast is known as Tsome Nebiyat, or the Fast of the Prophets. During the fast, Christians abstain from all meat, animal products, and alcohol. The fast is intended to cleanse the body and soul in preparation for the birth of Christ.
On Christmas Day, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians attend a special Mass at their local church. After Mass, they feast on a variety of traditional Ethiopian dishes, such as injera, wat, and tibs. In the afternoon, families and friends gather to play Genna.
Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas is a time for celebration and joy. It is a time to come together with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
3. Russian Orthodox Christian Religion
Russian Orthodox Christians are the largest Christian denomination in Russia. They follow the Eastern Orthodox calendar, so they celebrate Christmas on January 7th. Russian Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas with a special Mass, a feast, and a traditional carol called a колядка.
Колядка (kolyadka) is a traditional Russian Christmas carol. It is sung by groups of people who go door-to-door on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The carolers are typically dressed in traditional Russian costumes and carry musical instruments. They sing about the birth of Jesus Christ and ask for treats from the homeowners.
Christmas in Russia is a high holiday, one of the 12 Great Feasts, and one of only four of which are preceded by a period of fasting. Traditional Russian Christmas festivities start on Christmas Eve, which is celebrated on January 6th [O.S. 24 December].
Christmas was largely erased from the Russian calendar for much of the 20th century due to the Soviet Union’s anti-religious policies, but many of its traditions survived, having been transplanted to New Year’s Day. Although Christmas was re-established as a holiday in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is still eclipsed by New Year’s Day, which remains the most important Russian holiday.
4. Armenian Apostolic Christians
The Apostolic Church of Armenia claims the title of the world’s first Christian church. A couple of the twelve apostles, Thaddeus and Bartholomew, started it in the first century AD. In contrast to the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church is an Oriental Orthodox church.
Christmas is celebrated by the Armenian Apostolic Church on January 6. This is due to the fact that the Armenian Apostolic Church uses the Julian-based Armenian Apostolic Calendar. The Julian calendar lags behind the more commonly used Gregorian calendar by 13 days.
During the Christmas season, Armenian Apostolic Christians hold a special Mass, eat a feast, and perform a traditional dance known as the Kochari. On the evening before Christmas, Armenian churches host the Mass. Traditional Armenian dishes including pilaf, dolma, and baklava are served at the Christmas Day feast. The Kochari is a type of Armenian dance typically seen at social gatherings like weddings.
The Armenian Apostolic Church observes the Epiphany and the Nativity of Jesus on the same day, January 6. The Christian festival of Epiphany commemorates the manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. The Armenian Apostolic Church sees the two celebrations of Jesus’ birth and the arrival of the Magi as complementary rather than contradictory.
Although Armenia briefly adopted the Western Christian practise of celebrating Christmas on December 25, the country has since returned to its historical practise of celebrating Christmas on January 6.
5. Jehovah’s Witnesses Christians
Jehovah’s Witnesses are a Christian denomination that does not celebrate Christmas. They believe that Christmas is a pagan holiday and that the Bible does not teach Christians to celebrate it. Jehovah’s Witnesses also do not celebrate other religious holidays such as Easter, nor do they observe birthdays, national holidays, or other celebrations they consider to honor people other than Jesus. They believe that these and many other customs have pagan origins or reflect nationalistic or political spirit.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Satan controls the world, and that Christmas and other holidays are a way for Satan to keep people from worshiping God properly. They also believe that giving gifts spontaneously at other times of the year can help children feel loved and appreciated without the need for birthdays or other celebrations.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are a unique group of Christians with their own set of beliefs and practices. They are a close-knit community who support each other in their faith.
6. Seventh-day Adventists
Seventh-day Adventists don’t celebrate Christmas. They think Christmas is pagan and that Christians should worship on Saturday, the Sabbath. Seventh-day Adventists likewise reject Easter and New Year’s.
Some Christian denominations, such as the Assemblies of Yahweh, Messianic Jews, some Church of God congregations (Seventh Day), the World Mission Society Church of God, Hebrew Roots, Pentecostals, and a variety of Church of God groups, instruct their members to observe Tanakh religious holidays through the lens of the New Testament. Some Seventh-day Adventists have accepted Jewish holidays despite denominational officials’ desires. Most of these denominations likewise reject Christmas and Easter as pagan corruptions.
SDAs think the Bible doesn’t teach Christians to celebrate Jesus’ birth. They argue that the Bible doesn’t indicate Jesus’ birth date and that early Christians didn’t celebrate Christmas.
Seventh-day Adventists think the best way to celebrate Jesus’ birth is to please Him. They think this implies following His example and commandments. Seventh-day Adventists likewise value spreading the Gospel and helping the needy.
It is important to respect the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists, whether or not you agree with them. If you are invited to a Seventh-day Adventist home during the Christmas season, be respectful of their beliefs and avoid giving them Christmas gifts.
7. Assemblies of Yahweh
The Assemblies of Yahweh (AOY) is a Christian denomination that emerged from the Sacred Name Movement in the 1960s. The AOY is distinguished by its use of the name Yahweh for God and Yahshua for Jesus, as well as its observance of the seventh-day Sabbath and Jewish feast days.
The AOY believes that the Torah law is still binding on Christians, and that Jesus’ death and resurrection provided salvation for those who repent of their sins and are baptized in his name. The AOY rejects Easter and Christmas as pagan holidays, and also rejects the doctrine of the Trinity.
The AOY has distanced itself from the Sacred Name Movement, which it sees as disorganized and confusing. However, the AOY shares many of the same beliefs as other Sacred Name groups, such as the importance of using the sacred names of God and Jesus, and the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath and Jewish feast days.
The AOY is headquartered in Bethel, Pennsylvania, and has congregations throughout the United States and Canada. The AOY also has a missionary outreach program, and supports schools and ministries around the world.
8. Messianic Jews
Messianic Jews are a religious group that identifies as both Jewish and Christian. They believe that Jesus is the Messiah, but they also maintain many traditional Jewish practices.
Messianic Jews believe that the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) is still relevant today, and they see the New Testament as its fulfillment. They celebrate Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah, Passover, and Rosh Hashanah, but they also incorporate Christian elements into their celebrations. For example, they may read passages from the New Testament during Hanukkah, or they may talk about Jesus’ resurrection during Passover.
Messianic Jews also reject Christmas and Easter as pagan corruptions. They believe that these holidays are based on pagan traditions and that they are not supported by the Bible. Instead, they celebrate the birth of Jesus on Hanukkah and his resurrection on Passover.
9. World Mission Society Church of God
The World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) is a new religious movement that originated in South Korea in 1964. The church is controversial for its beliefs and practices, including its rejection of Christmas and its belief that Ahn Sahng-hong is God.
The WMSCOG does not celebrate Christmas because it believes that it is a pagan holiday with no biblical basis. The church teaches that the date of Christmas was chosen to coincide with the winter solstice, which was a pagan holiday dedicated to the sun god. The church also teaches that the Christmas customs of decorating trees and exchanging gifts are also pagan in origin.
Ahn Sahng-hong was the founder of the WMSCOG. He was born in South Korea in 1918 and died in 1985. Ahn taught that he was the Second Coming of Christ and that he had come to fulfill the prophecies of the Bible.
The WMSCOG teaches that Ahn Sahng-hong is God the Father and that he is the only true God. The church also teaches that Ahn Sahng-hong’s wife, Zahng Gil-jah, is God the Mother.
The Christadelphians are a Christian denomination that was founded in 1848. They are known for their belief in the literal interpretation of the Bible, and they reject many of the traditional teachings of Christianity.
One of the Christadelphian beliefs is that Christmas is a pagan holiday. They believe that the Bible does not teach Christians to celebrate Jesus’ birth, and that the date of Christmas was chosen to coincide with the pagan holiday of the winter solstice.
Instead of celebrating Christmas, Christadelphians celebrate the Passover. They believe that the Passover is a more important holiday, as it commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
The Christadelphians are a relatively small denomination, but they are growing in popularity. They have members all over the world, and they are known for their strong sense of community.
While there are a number of Christian religions that do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th, it is important to remember that there are many different ways to be a Christian. All of the religions listed above are valid Christian denominations, and they all have their own unique beliefs and practices. It is important to respect the beliefs of others, even if they do not align with our own.
It is also important to note that there is some diversity of opinion within each of the religions listed above. For example, while the majority of Coptic Orthodox Christians do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th, there are some Coptic Orthodox churches that do celebrate Christmas on that date. Similarly, while the majority of Seventh-day Adventists do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th, there are some Seventh-day Adventist churches that do celebrate Christmas on that date.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual Christian to decide whether or not to celebrate Christmas on December 25th. There is no right or wrong answer, and there is no one way to be a Christian.