Christian community celebrates Christmas with zeal and fervour

Rawalpindi – Christian community on Monday celebrated Christmas with religious zeal and fervour amid tight security. Keeping in view the recent Quetta church attack, police officials, teams of 111 Brigade, Quick Respond Force and teams of Crises Control Teams of Security and Counter Terrorism Department assisted police in providing security blanket to churches to counter possible terrorist threats.

City Police Officer Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi said some 2000 well equipped cops including police officers shielded a total of 105 churches on eve of Christmas. 

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited a church in Lalkurti to express solidarity with Christian community.  The congregation welcomed COAS and thanked him for sharing the festivity. Qamar Javed Bajwa wished a merry Christmas to the entire Christian community in Pakistan and acknowledged role of Christian brethren for their contributions towards Pakistan’s progress. He appreciated the role of Christian community across in managing important field such as education, health, and public welfare.

On the other hand, a great hustle and bustle was witnessed around the Churches in Cantt and garrison.  The churches in the city were decorated with electric bulbs while others had organized midnight services on Sunday.  The biggest gathering was held at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. There were big congregations at other churches on Saturday where religious prayers were offered.

 “The poor residents of these slum areas cannot afford much but everyone took part in the celebrations wholeheartedly and exchanged gifts,” said Shaukat Bhatti, who lives in a slum near Holy Family Hospital.   He said that the inflation forced the poor to celebrate ‘Bara Din’ by borrowing money. He added that he had to borrow money to prepare new dresses for his six children and wife.  

 A Christmas ceremony was also held at Adiala Jail. IG Punjab Prison Mirza Shahid Salim Baig was the chief guest on the occasion while Superintendent Saeed Ullah Gondal and others were also present. The guests cut a cake and distributed it among the inmates. The jail was decorated with electric bulbs while all the Christian inmates were allowed to stay at the Church for two days to celebrate Christmas. CTO Chaudhry Shahid Yousaf also organized a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate Christmas with the wardens and the sanitary workers of the Christian community.

The police had made elaborate security arrangements for churches by deploying police personnel.

CPO Israr Ahmed Abbasi said that government has taken serious steps to enhance security of churches after the terrorist attack in Quetta.

 

 

 On the other hand, the city district government and Rawalpindi and Chaklala Cantonment Boards did not arange any ceremony for over 3000 sanitary workers belonging to the Christian community.

 In the past, City district Nazimeen distributed gifts among Christian community on the behalf of district administration to express their joy and happiness over minorities’ celebrations but this year, there was no such effort.

 

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