ISLAMABAD: Christians throughout the country and world are celebrating Christmas, an event of peace and happiness .
Special services are being held at churches across the world to celebrate the festival.
The celebrations began with the special midnight services at Christmas eve while the Christmas day services started on Wednesday morning led by the bishops and the hierarchy of the Christian clergy at their respective churches.
The Christian community has illuminated homes and churches while shopping for the occasion is underway at special Christmas Bazars. Almost all churches have been decorated with colorful lights and Christmas trees.
Felicitating the Christian community in Pakistan and across the world on Christmas, President Arif Alvi extended his heartiest greetings to all our Christian brethren on the occasion of Christmas.
He said much more than festivity and celebration, the spirit of Christmas is to share, to reach out, and to love all humanity. Jesus Christ brought and preached the message of peace, brotherhood and love for the whole humanity. He guided people towards virtuous living and urged them to seek divine mercy. As a Divine Messenger, Jesus Christ is venerable to adherents of all religions.
The President said that the efforts of our Christian Community for the socio-economic development of the motherland are commendable. I also take this opportunity to pay the highest tribute to the sacrifices made by our Christian brethren in Pakistan’s fight against terrorism.
Arif Avli said: “The government holds sacrosanct the equality and freedom of conscience of all citizens irrespective of belief, creed or religion, adding that our commitment to this fundamental principle is firmly grounded in the teachings of Islam, the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the inviolable guarantees of our Constitution. We are committed to building a society that respects difference and finds strength in diversity; a nation that is tolerant and cohesive; and a state that provides equal rights and opportunities to all citizens. We are proud of our Christian brethren; and together we are building a strong and prosperous Pakistan for our children.”
On the other hand, in his message Prime Minister Imran Khan also extended his heartiest felicitations and wish Merry Christmas to the Christian brethren in Pakistan and all over the world.
He said that Christmas is an auspicious occasion to reflect on the message of Jesus Christ, the eternal message of love, peace, tolerance and compassion for humanity. We, as Muslims deeply revere Jesus Christ as one of the great messengers of Allah Almighty. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had, right from the first day of creation of Pakistan unequivocally declared a policy of equality, freedom and security for all communities living in Pakistan irrespective of their religion, profession or ethnic origin.
The prime minister said that the government is dedicated to preserve the sanctity of peaceful coexistence and equality of opportunities enjoyed by all Pakistanis including our minorities, adding that the government treats all minority citizens as equal citizens of Pakistan and undertakes to empower them to use their abilities socially, economically and politically for national development.
“I am immensely happy to note that minorities in Pakistan are actively contributing to the development and prosperity of the country without any hindrance including serving in the Armed Forces of Pakistan,” he said and added this reflects the communal harmony and profound cohesion between all faiths practiced across the length and breadth of the country. This is the spirit that binds us together as one family to celebrate our blessings and the values we hold dear.
Imran Khan said that in the same spirit, the government established Kartarpur Corridor to enable Sikh community visit their sacred shrine thereby explicitly expressing the importance we accord to minorities and people of other faith.
He said: “On this happy day, I wish to acknowledge the diverse and productive role being played by all the minorities living in Pakistan; particularly the Christian community for the socio-economic development of the country in general and in the fields of health and education in particular. I greatly appreciate their patriotism, devoted service and sincere attachment to the country and am confident that they will continue to play their due role for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan with even more dedication.”