ISLAMABAD – Decorated trees and some festooned shops, streets and homes, announced the arrival of Christmas ahead of time in Islamabad.
On the big day, churches were illuminated with special lights. Pakista’s Christian community living in Islamabad and Rawalpindi especially decorated their homes and streets with Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, ornaments, lights and stockings. The festivities of the day include distributing gifts among children, singing hymns, prayers, and attending Mass.
Streets, houses and shops in several Christian communities, churches, missionary schools and institutions in Islamabad are also lit up with colourful lights.
On Thursday night special services were held at Full Gospel Assembly Church, G-8/1, Saint Thomas Church, G-7, and Khatoon-e-Fatima Church in F-8, where Christian priests prayed for peace, harmony and prosperity of Pakistan. Children sang Christmas carols and presented tableaus highlighting message of love and peace.
“This is a special day for all of us. We pray for peace and welfare of humanity,” said Pastor In-Charge Rizwan Khurshid of Full Gospel Assembly Church at G-8/1.
“When we talk about harmony, equality and peace, then, the message of God is that you must love each other like you love yourselves,” Elder Samuel Masih commented. Special prayers for the integrity, solidarity, progress and prosperity for the country will also be offered. The Christian Youth Uplift Forum database suggests that some 57,000 community members are residing in Islamabad.
The Christmas celebrations are in full swing in settlements including 100 Quarters in F-6/2, France Colony in F-7/4, Faisal Colony, 66 Quarters and Musharraf Colony in G-7, Hansa Colony, Charles Colony, J Salik Colony and Miskeen Colony in G-8, Christian Colony in H-9, Essa Nagri in I-9, and Christian Colony in Iqbal Town.
To avoid any mishap, comprehensive security arrangements on the eve of Christmas and special deployment will be ensured at Churches and public places.
Hundreds of police officials and other law enforcement agencies are performing security duty at different churches across Pakistan where the Christian community are participating in Christmas ceremonies. Walk-through security gates have been installed at various locations for entry in Churches on Christmas Day.
President, PM extend greetings to Christian brethren on Christmas
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have extended their greeting to Christian brethren all over the world, and in particular to those living in Pakistan on the occasion of Christmas, being celebrated today (Friday).
“We, as Muslims, deeply revere Jesus Christ as one of the great messengers of Allah Almighty, Mamnoon’s message said,” President said. Pakistan’s President also appreciated the valuable contribution made by Christian brethren in Pakistan in all fields. “The nation is proud of their great contributions in the development of the country and deeply admires their loyalty to the state and commitment to obedience to the law. I have no doubt that they will continue to play their positive role for peace, progress, and prosperity of Pakistan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that the present government would continue to safeguard the rights and privileges, enjoyed by all minorities. “Being the equal citizens of the state, the government will empower them to use their abilities for national development, progress, and prosperity. Our policies are geared towards creating harmony and cohesion amongst people of all faiths,” the prime minister said in his message on Christmas, which is being celebrated across the world on Friday.