People across India, Christians and non-Christians alike, took the time yesterday to celebrate the advent of Christ. Peoples of all religious groups celebrated with candles and flowers. Christians continue to face persecution in Hindu dominated areas, but these celebrations may be a sign that things may get better in the future.
12/26/2012 India (TimesofIndia) - With much joy and fervour, city folks celebrated the advent of Christ, irrespective of the community and religion. Amid the lighted candles and aroma of incense sticks and flowers, baby Jesus was worshipped with splendor in city churches as well as at homes of Patnaites.
Father Gregory Gomes of Queen of the Apostles Church, Kurji, told TOI after morning mass at 7 on Tuesday that there was an unending visit of people to the church. "We had made two cribs, one inside the church and one outside. However, we had to shut the church gate after the morning mass, as it got very difficult to handle the crowd. But people have been thronging the crib that is outside the church, to have a glimpse of baby Jesus," he said.
Not only aged people, but also youth celebrated the birth of Christ with much zeal and fervour. Two girls, Sneha and Jinsy were spotted on the premises clicking pictures of the crib. "It's all about greetings, cakes and enjoyment since morning at our homes," they said added that they had received endless visitors and greetings since Tuesday morning.
The idol of Mother Mary on the premises glowed in the light of candles that devotees had lighted desiring fulfilment of their wishes since midnight Mass. Not only Christians but youth of other communities too were seen sharing the joy of Christmas. "I have studied at a Catholic institution, so since childhood I have been celebrating Christmas despite being a Hindu. For me, the year begins with the celebration of New Year and ends with celebrating Christmas," said Shivam Kumar, who was seen lighting a candle near the idol of Mother Mary.
No less was the crowd at the Bankipore Church, as according to Father Jerome Dung Dung, the Parish priest, more than 10,000 people had visited to take the blessings of baby Jesus on the pious occasion of Christmas. "There seems to be no end to the stream of visitors today... the premises appears as a fair," said Father. He said there was strict vigil by police in the area to check mischief makers in the crowd. "Had the cops not been deployed, some mishap must have occurred till now," he said.