Christmas is the festivity of warmth and togetherness. Since the outburst of Covid-19 in the year, 2019 people have not celebrated it and confined themselves to their homes, preferring isolation and fear. But now as life is getting back to the normal Christian community around Pakistan and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are celebrating Christmas with full zeal and zest. Churches and houses in KP are lit with bright colours. After two Christmas during the pandemic, people maintained social distancing and avoided visiting their loved ones. Hence this time people have gathered to share means alongside laughter with their friends and families. People got engaged in fun activities and hangouts with their social circle.
The Christian youth and management of all the Churches in Peshawar have put their efforts into decorating their church, along with this a Santa rally was organised in Peshawar to promote peace and interfaith harmony. Another message of this rally was to disseminate the message to the international community that Non-Muslims living in war-torn regions have the right to practice their faith without any threats.
Similarly, several other celebrations have taken place all around KP in which the Christian community have gathered on one platform such as the grand Christmas dinner arranged by Assemblies of God Church in Peshawar. Christian missionary institutions like Edwardes College, Edwardes School, Presentation Convent High School, St. Michael’s Convent School and St. Mary’s High School have arranged religious tableaus carried with annual dinners to keep the spirit of Christmas alive.
While talking to the Voice of KP on the current situation and arrangements for Christmas, Jamshed Thomas, Member National Assembly said, “I am really glad that after two consecutive years we are again to celebrate Christmas but let us not forget the danger is not over yet.” He further added, “Vaccination is a must thing for us to celebrate our plenty other festivities, therefore, we are keeping a strict eye on vaccination cards.”
MNA Jamshed Thomas also said, “We got security clearance of the historical Christmas fair after three years which will bring back the essence of the festivity and I am thankful to the government for providing strict security on our occasion.”
Moreover, Yasir Bhatti, a Christian youth activist and central member of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) said, “The Christian community this year is super-excited to celebrate the occasion as after two odd years of virtual meets and greets with family and friends, they will now be able to see, meet and wish their loved ones physically.”
He added, “the government has given so much support and security so that we could celebrate our festivity. Also since the start of December, I am regularly attending Christmas celebrations and the most exciting part is that the Muslim clergy also paid a visit and attended the celebration.” However, he said that the Christian community and all the other people coming must get themselves vaccinated to prevent the masses from the spread.
Undoubtedly, Christmas is a day of spending time with family and friends. Contrary to this, Christmas has evolved around over several millennia into a universal celebration that is celebrated equally by both secular and religious groups in KP. However, Christmas marks an important day for Christians around the world and is cherished by Non-Christians as well. While in KP, people from all faiths respect and participate in all the Christmas activities which spread out the message of interfaith harmony and religious acceptance in this region.
Team Voice of KP wishes the entire Christian community a joyous Christmas and intend to see them safe, secure and prosperous.