Another Christmas has gone by, and Pakistani Christians joined the world in celebrating the biggest festival of the year for the largest religion in the world. The Christ of Christianity is also known as the Prince of Peace, and is revered and respected by not just Christians, but Muslims the world over as well. The celebration of Christmas in Pakistan with complete freedom and security by all who celebrate it is wonderful news for Pakistan. In a world beset by religious conflict, today is a day to remember the messages of peace contained in the teachings of the Holy Bible for us to remember.

Pakistan, whose flag is one-third white, as representation of the minorities that reside within it, is proud of patriotic Christians residing within its communities. The true message of religion today is more pertinent than ever, for us to live together in brotherhood and peace, to fuel ourselves out of the crises we all find ourselves in, to treat each other with dignity, kindness and compassion.

The temptation to brand religions as terrorists, fanaticism, etc is to be resisted in this day and age. In the climate we are in, the amount of hurt and damage and destruction caused by bandying about religious war terminology can be no more obvious than George W Bush's use of the word 'crusade' to describe the war on terror - invoking historic references, which could only be used to mean a war of one religion on another. Religion is a force for good, teaching us positive values and how to live a life of discipline. Religious festivals consequently are a celebration of the same. We must take this opportunity to reject those who use the name of religion to blackmail, rather than to teach and turn to introspection and soul-searching to find a way to make a positive contribution to the world.