LAHORE - An annual candlelight service was held here on Sunday to mark 140th anniversary of foundation day of the Lahore Diocese.

The service was led by Reverend Shahid P Mehraj. Christmas carols in English, Urdu and Punjabi led by choir of the cathedral were sung and Holy Bible was read after each carol singing. Special prayers were offered for victims of Quetta tragic incident at the Methodist Church. These prayers were led by Bishop of Lahore (Emeritus) Rt Rev Alexander John Malik, who also led the cake cutting ceremony of 140 anniversary of Lahore Diocese. Special shield of honour was presented to the official organist of the church, Griffin James, for completing 50 years of service. Special attraction during the service was the arrival of Santa Claus who distributed sweets, chocolates and gifts to children.

It was a cause of concern that not even a single policeman had been deployed for protection of the congregation where hundreds of people were present. The event was covered by almost all media channels and organisations.

ARCHBISHOP CONDEMNS ATTACK

Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw strongly condemned the terrorist attack on Bethel Memorial Church in Quetta, expressing his sympathies with the victims’ families and wishing early recovery to the injured.

In a condolence meeting, he expressed the strong resolve against terrorism, saying that it could not be weakened by coward terrorist acts. He said terrorists should be taken to their logical end.

The meeting was attended by St Anthony’s High School Principal Shahid Ambrose Moghul. The Archbishop also called for provision of best medical treatment to the injured.

Addressing the meeting, Moghul said the entire nation was united in the fight against terrorism and had the determination to confront it. He praised the security forces for their prompt response. He urged religious leaders of both Christian and Muslim communities to offer prayers in mosques and churches for peace in the country. He expressed his wish that peace may prevail in the country in the days to come. He said that attack was an attempt to cloud Christmas celebrations. “We stay united and steadfast to respond against such heinous attempts,” he added.