Christmas celebrated with religious fervency
TOBA TEK SINGH/GUJRANWALA/ – SIALKOT/ FAISALABAD/ KAMALIA/BAHAWALNAGAR/KASUR – Christian community celebrated Christmas with religious zeal and fervency here on Monday.
Special services were held in churches across the district and prayers were offered for peace, progress and prosperity of the motherland. Christian localities were decorated with lights and balloons. Their leaders urged the community in their speeches after the prayers to create religious harmony as it was the teaching of Christ.
PPP, Bhatta Mazdoor Union, district and tehsil administration officers and different NGOs cut Christmas cakes at different places to show solidarity with Christian community. Police had made special security arrangements around the churches on the occasion while DC Irfan Nawaz Memon and DPO Usman Akram Gondal visited the churches to inspect the security arrangements.
In Gujranwala, people cut Christmas cakes and exchanged gifts. Both men and women were thoroughly checked at the main entrance of churches by volunteers. The churches were beautifully decorated where children and women participated in groups.
Meanwhile, the day dawn with special prayers for national peace, progress, prosperity as well. The Christians also distributed sweets and exchanged the X-mass gifts.
In Faisalabad, special services were held at the churches of the district in which large number of Christian people were participated. The district administration and police made special arrangements for maintaining the peaceful environment for the Christian community.
Deputy Commissioner Salman Ghani, CPO Athar Ismail, MPA Haji Khalid Saeed and Admn. Officer Riaz Anjum visited the Catholic Church Railway Road to express solidarity with the Christian community. They presented Christmas cake to the Bishop of Faisalabad Dr Joseph Arshid and participated in the cake-cutting ceremony.
The Deputy Commissioner greeted the Christian community and said that as Pakistani nation we celebrate the joys of each other with unity. They said that Christians were not less than other Pakistanis and they had equal rights according to the constitution of Pakistan. They said that Christian community was playing active role in the development of Pakistan and they should not be ignored at all.
They vowed that the country would be made citadel of peace and we should wage a war together against terrorism. Bishop prayed for peace, and said that Christian community would continue their efforts for the development and prosperity of the nation and Pakistan. Later, talking to the media, the deputy commissioner and CPO said that special arrangements had been made for the protection of more than 350 churches of the district and the 4,000 police personnel were performing their duties to maintain security.
He said that special arrangements were made by the district administration at public parks for the recreation of Christian community including providing the facilities of 55% concession of ticket charges at Sindbad, Funland and Fun Dunya.
In Kamalia, Christmas was celebrated by the Christian community with enthusiasm. People wore celebratory clothes and children sang religious songs. Christmas cakes were cut and sweets were distributed to the people of community. Praying ceremonies were held in local churches including The Salvation Army Church Christian Colony, Catholic Church Christian Colony, International Peace Church Christian Colony, Church of God and Church of Pakistan Mohallah Hussain Shah. A large number of people from the Christian community attended the praying ceremonies.
Lieutenant Adnan Gil, Father Nadeem John Shakir, Pastor Amin Shaukat, Shahzad Maseeh, Adnan Maseeh and pastors from other cities led the religious rituals.
In Bahawalnagar, the Christian community celebrated Christmas with religious fervour. At least 1,500 policemen were deployed across the district to guard 14 churches. A praying ceremony was held in Church of Pakistan at Christian Colony. A large number of people from the Christian community attended the ceremony. Pastor Dr Azeem was invited as the chief guest. On the occasion, special prayers were made for prosperity and safety of the country.
In Kasur, a ceremony was held at Kasur District Jail in connection with Christmas. Jail Superintendent Shahid Riaz Khan cut Christmas cake with Christian prisoners. Kasur Press Club President Haji Sharif Mehr and the deputy superintendent jail were present on the occasion.
Addressing the ceremony, Jail Superintendent Shahid Riaz said that Hazrat Isa (AS) brought the message of peace and love to humanity from God. He said Christianity is the religion of peace, love, brotherhood. He termed the Christian community a valuable asset to the country. Special prayers were made for development and progress of the country.
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