Christmas celebrated in Kashmir with gusto

Srinagar: Christmas was celebrated with religious enthusiasm and gaiety in Kashmir valley on Sunday amid freezing cold temperature.
The main function was held at Catholic Church at Maulana Azad road Srinagar where a large number of members of the Christian community including women and children attended the mass prayers.
The church was decorated with colorful buntings, balloons and also illuminated.
A group of Muslims also joined their Christians brethren at Catholic Church Srinagar to celebrate the festival and to convey a message of communal harmony and brotherhood among the communities.
The Muslims also distributed sweets, exchanged greetings on the occasion. They also wore Santa hats to share joy and celebrate the festival.
Maulana Abdullah, who was leading the group, while talking to the mediapersons said they have come to the Church to celebrate the festival with their Christian brethren and to spread the message of communal harmony, brotherhood and peace.
“This is a small community here and they should not feel isolated on such festive occasions”, he added.
He said “some vested interests have been spreading fake narratives across the world that minorities were not safe here, which is not true”.
“We came here today to bust that narrative and wanted to show the world that we are one and we belong to one god as well, regardless of our religions,” he added.
Father Brito said, “Christmas is a message of love, joy and happiness. Our Muslim brothers have always stood by us on these occasions and Christmas is an occasion which gives us an opportunity to share that joy, happiness and brotherhood with each other,” he said.
Reports of Christmas celebrations were also received from various parts of the valley including Baramulla and Gulmarg.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in a tweet greeted people on the occasion. “Greetings to all on the joyous occasion of Christmas. The festival epitomises the spirit of forgiveness & peace. It is an occasion to celebrate & imbibe Jesus Christ’s message of brotherhood,compassion & forgiveness.May the Christmas this year usher in peace, happiness & joy for all,LG said.”

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