Christmas celebrated across city, Arvind Kejriwal urges for communal harmony

It is a day set aside to recognize the birth of their Saviour, Jesus Christ, and to give thanks to God for the gift of salvation.

All the churches of the Jammu city and outskirts were fully decorated where the rush of devotees continued from midnight. Officially, the decision had been made by Palestinian leadership to limit celebrations to religious observances, but a number of pundits expressed a common belief that after "days of rage" marked by violent street rallies, people sought to avoid the possibility of a raucous [read dangerous] outpouring and stayed home. After the midnight masses, members of the Christian community in the state dressed in best attire to match the occasion exchanged greetings among their friends and loved ones.

Later, President Hamid cut a Christmas cake with members of the Christian community. Faithful from all over the country gathered in large numbers at Shrine Basilica of our Lady of Health in Vailankanni and also New Jerusalem Church at Tarangambadi, the oldest protestant church in Asia, and offered prayers.

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"This helps to kind of bring us back, not just for family and fellowship, but true worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." says Interim Pastor at First Baptist Church of Meridian Scott Hummel.

The church was decorated with colourful buntings and balloons and it wore a festive look. "We wish peace to every brother and sister", he said.

In the Holy Family Catholic Church on MA Road Srinagar, the day began with carol singing in the prayer hall, followed by a message of peace and love by Father Roy who addressed the gathering.

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Michel said that he has celebrated most of his Christmases in Kashmir valley but on a few occasions he has celebrated the festival in other Indian states.

"We are disappointed that there was no snowfall on Christmas eve".

The celebrations this time were more upbeat compared to past year. "We do not care for each other and we do not have the courage to show humanity", the pastor said.

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  • Ryan Wade