Britain's Queen Elizabeth will be delivering her 2015 Royal Christmas Day message with the focus on personal Christian faith and the necessity of prayer amid persecution in light of the worldwide persecution of Christians, in particular, those in Syria and the Middle East.
The Queen's speech will be broadcasted on Christmas Day with the starting time 3 p.m. GMT and conclusion at 3:10 p.m. BBC One, ITV, Sky 1 and Sky News are TV channels where viewers in the UK can watch the live broadcast. BBC Radio 4 and Classic FM will be broadcasting the message over the radio. For those who want to watch online, Sky News will live stream the message on their website for free, and for UK residents with subscriptions to BBC and ITV, they can watch the message on the respective websites here and here.
Queen Elizabeth II broadcast her first Christmas message live on the radio in 1952 and the first televised message was broadcast live in 1957.
According to Queen's official website, the theme of this year's speech will reflect her own interests but will always be "motivated by compassion and concern for her people." In an excerpt released by Buckingham Palace ahead of the Queen's message, the monarch quotes the Bible for the hope in "moments of darkness."
"It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services; 'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
As this year marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the Queen will be expected to thank those who have served in the war. Moreover, she will also thank "the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives," referring to family.
According to a report from the Telegraph, the 89-year-old Queen's annual address, which last year attracted an estimated 7.8 viewers in the UK, is typically closely guarded until it is delivered on Christmas day.
One insider told the Mail on Sunday: "Over the years we've seen a greater emphasis on the Queen's faith, and we're certain to see it in this year's Christmas broadcast. There's a fundamental optimism which, to an extent, is driven by her faith in contrast to the overall gloom. She is driven by a deep and spirited faith."
Similarily, UK's Prime Minister David Cameron also gave his Christmas message on Wednesday, as reported by Gospel Herald, in which he emphasized that the U.K. is a "Christian country" which has flourished due to its Christian values despite growing secularization.
"[W]e celebrate the birth of God's only son, Jesus Christ - the Prince of Peace. As a Christian country, we must remember what his birth represents: peace, mercy, goodwill and, above all, hope," the PM wrote in the message, which was shared on his personal Facebook page.
"I believe that we should also reflect on the fact that it is because of these important religious roots and Christian values that Britain has been such a successful home to people of all faiths and none," Cameron continued.
He also encouraged those celebrating the holiday with loved ones to take a moment to "think of those who cannot do the same," such as the thousands of Christians and other minorities driven from of their homes by the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.
"If there is one thing people want at Christmas, it's the security of having their family around them and a home that is safe. But not everyone has that. Millions of families are spending this winter in refugee camps or makeshift shelters across Syria and the Middle East, driven from their homes by Daesh and [Syrian President Hafez] Assad," Cameron said.
The Royal Christmas message has been a staple of British Christmases since 1932, when the Queen's grandfather, King George V, addressed the nation via radio, notes the Telegraph. Today, the message is read by the reigning monarch and broadcast on television, radio, and the Internet via various providers.