Christmas was celebrated in Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday with traditional and religious fervor and with the renewal of the pledge to continue spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ (AS) for maintaining complete harmony, brotherhood, and love among humanity. The Christian community in all three districts of Mirpur division prayed through special prayer services for the development and prosperity of Pakistan and the freedom of Occupied Kashmir from the long Indian subjugation.
They also renewed the pledge to perform an active role in the stability, progress, and prosperity of Pakistan side by side with the majority Muslim community of the country. Special Christmas ceremonies were hosted at Mangla (Mirpur) under the auspices of the Christian Welfare Foundation, with the support of the local social welfare and public representative organizations of the majority Muslim community.
The venues of the ceremonies were beautifully decorated with colorful buntings and banners. Special gifts were distributed among the children and the social workers. Addressing the ceremonies, speakers – the leaders of the Christian Welfare Foundation, including Supreme Head of the Foundation Younis Bhatti and others said that Jesus Christ (AS) gave the message of love and affection and tolerance, which, they added, is required to be observed by all classes of the humanity to establish peace and harmony across the globe. They said that all segments of the society shall have to work collectively above the religious difference for the sake of the safety and eternity of humanity.
Speakers vowed to lend all of their potential and capabilities for the speedy progress, prosperity, solidarity, and integrity of the country, and promoting and maintaining complete harmony and brotherhood among all classes of the society. Prominent local Christian leaders, including central president of the community religious leader Babu Arshad, Father Yaqoob Sajaad, Javeid Younis Gill, President Christian Welfare Foundation AJK, and others also addressed the ceremony.
Bhatti, who is also the Executive Member of National Council of Christian, said that minorities including the Christian community in the country including AJK were enjoying full liberty to perform their religious rites and other obligations. Bhatti called for immediate establishment of a Christian Colony for homeless local Christians besides the reservation of a site for the establishment of a grand Church in Mirpur district.