Christians make up the largest religious minority in Pakistan and often face extreme forms of persecution from both terrorist organizations and Pakistan’s Muslim majority population. This Christmas season, the government of Pakistan conducted a large security operation to ensure the Christian population was able to celebrate the holiday safely. Members of other faiths also joined the Christians in Pakistan to show solidarity with the persecuted minority. Does this mean 2016 will be a better year for Christians in Pakistan?
12/27/2015 Pakistan (The Nation) – Christians celebrated Christmas with traditional fervor and zeal in the provincial capital on Friday.
Muslims and other communities in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have joined the celebrations to show solidarity with Christians.
Politicians and religious leaders cut cakes and addressed the ceremonies at different places of the city. Boys and girls went from house to house while singing carol singing.
Services were held at all churches every hour. People distributed sweets and freshly baked rich plum cakes among the fellow Christians, while Santas brought presents for children.
Christmas trees lit with small decorative electric lights, small bells and miniature models depicting the angels, Christmas Father and other symbolic figures related to the season were placed at different places.
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations, including Pakistan because it coincides with the birthday of the country’s founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Christians make up the largest religious minority in Pakistan. The total numbers of Christians in the country were estimated at 2.5 million in 2005, or 1.6% of the population. Of these, approximately half are Roman Catholic and half Protestant.
Lawmen have already mounted one of the biggest security operations in Lahore to provide foolproof security to the Christians.
DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf said the other day that the police were put on their toes to maintain peace and harmony in the city. “We have taken all possible security measures to protect Christian community and to thwart the nefarious designs of anti-state elements,” the operations police chief said.
The DIG said that there was no specific security threat to the Christian community in Lahore. However, police are taking concrete measures to protect the community.