Christian families are defiantly celebrating Christmas in countries where traditional religious customs are forbidden. The bold step has sparked a social media campaign dubbed The My Treedom page, which has been set up on Facebook, allowing people to share photos of their Christmas festivities.
The page established by New York based foreign affairs journalist Lisa Daftari, shows people partaking in traditional festivities in Muslim-dominated countries including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, where Christians may be killed for practicing their faith.
Lisa said the page is intended to demonstrate that there should be 'freedom from persecution' and everyone should have the right to celebrate Christmas everywhere around the world. "It's so heartwarming to see the courage and resilience they can show in the face of persecution," she told Mail Online. "The goal is to raise awareness about the increased threat of global Christian persecution that is often missing from political headlines these days."
"Having covered these conflicts for over a decade now, I have the privilege of working with real sources on the ground who I get to know and understand, outside the realm of politics but in understanding the emotional experiences of the victims. I launched this project to raise awareness about global Christian persecution in light of the wholesale genocide of minority groups in the region such as the Yazidis, Assyrians and Christians."
Because of the dangers of facing persecution and even death, many of the contributors' faces are pixelated. Included in the images is a picture of a woman who smuggled a Christmas tree into Saudi Arabia, children dressed in Santa hats and a family who fled from Pakistan, gathered together in their new home in Malaysia, decorating a tree, perhaps for the first time. Another couple posted a picture of themselves in front of a Christmas tree in Brunei, where The Sultan of Brunei banned public celebrations.
Brunei adheres to Islamic law and last year Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah instated Sharia law. Although an estimated 1.2 million expatriates live in Saudi Arabia, no other religion is tolerated other than Islam and Christians are legally prohibited from openly practising their faith.
Other pictures were taken in areas which have been strongholds of Islamic State (Isis). One image shows a Christmas tree in Erbil, Iraq in a shopping mall just yards away from Isis territory. In Iraq, around 97% of people are Muslims, with Christians and other faiths making up the remaining 3%.
A café in Syria also celebrated with a festive tree made up of a Nutella jar and chocolates. Around 10% of the population in Syria are estimated to be Christians, but many have fled after facing persecution for practicing their faith.
A family in Pakistan, where only 3% of the population are Christians, also shared a photograph of their children decorating the tree. This year there have been several instances of alleged blasphemy against Muslims, which resulted in the offenders being tortured or killed.
In Iran, where Christians are banned from practising their faith in the open and are forced to use underground home churches, a family is seen dressed in Santa outfits next to a Christmas tree, despite it being illegal.
In 2014, Isis issued a decree in July that all Christians in the area of its control must pay approximately $470 (£315) per family, convert to Islam or die. The Jihadists later announced that all Christians would need to leave or be killed. Many Christian women have also been forced into sex slavery.
A Pew Research Centre study has predicted Muslims will outnumber Christians worldwide around 2070. According to 'The Future of World Religions: Population Growth and Projections, 2010-2050' study, all the major world's religions will see a marked increase in numbers by 2050, with the exception of Buddhists. Islam will grow faster than any other faith and by 2050, Islam and Christianity will nearly equal in number.