Courtesy: Dawn News
PESHAWAR: Like other parts of the country, the members of Christian community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa celebrated their annual religious festival of Easter on Sunday by arranging special services and other festivities.
According to priests, Easter Sunday is one of the most festive events among Christians.
The members of the community from different age groups including men, women and children, living in various parts of the province, made special arrangements to celebrate the event.
In Peshawar, special services were held in different churches where the participants prayed for their salvation and progress of the country. On the occasion, special arrangements were made to provide security to the members of Christian community.
One of the main events was held at All Saints Church in Kohati where Vicar Shahzad Murad was the key speaker. The participants of the event prayed for peace, development, economic prosperity and unity among the followers of all religions.
They also took out a procession from the All Saints Church early in the morning at 4:30am, which followed its traditional route in the limits of historical Qissa Khawni Bazaar and returned to the church for breakfast. The second phase of Easter service started at the church at 11am for the people, who could not attend the early morning prayers.
The Easter events were also held in rest of the churches including St John’s Church, Catholic Church, United Church and other churches in different areas.
Zulfiqar Bhatti, a participant in the event, told this correspondent that the prayers were also held in churches in other districts like Charsadda, Mardan, Bannu, Swat, Nowshera and Khyber.
Meanwhile, Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Shah Fahad along with other officials visited St John’s Cathedral Church and congratulated all members of the community and Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz, who leading the mass service.
Unlike past, in most of the localities processions were held only in the limits of churches owing to the growing sense of insecurity among the people. Sources said that law enforcement had also asked people to avoid processions on roads.
Bishop Humphrey Sarfraz said that Easter was one of the important events, which was celebrated at the end of 40 days of fasting. He said that people exchanged gifts and arranged food parties on the occasion.
The priests prayed for harmony among the people of different religions in the larger interests of the country and humanity. They stressed the need for joining hands by the political leaders to overcome the growing problems like inflation, unemployment, terrorism and economic issues.
1- Header image: Christian community members attend an Easter Sunday mass at Saint John’s Cathedral in Peshawar. — White Star
Christian community in Karachi celebrates Easter
Members of the Christian community pray during an Easter service at a Malir church on Sunday.—PPI
KARACHI: The Christian community celebrated Easter Sunday with much joy and happiness. The celebrations in all the city’s churches began early, at midnight with a big Sunday mass.
While just two days ago, on Good Friday, there were no church bells or lighting of candles, for Easter there was a candlelight vigil at midnight. And there were also the bells ringing, calling everyone to church, announcing that Christ has risen.
It was the celebration of new life. The priests at churches lit the big Easter candle with a cross on it, blessed it and then took it around the church for others who had brought their own candles for midnight mass to light them with it and spread the light. In the background, the Church choir sang sweet and happy hymns.
After the midnight mass, which went on till around 2.30am, there is the morning mass. It is attended by all those who might have missed the midnight mass. Everyone looks happy and fresh. Everyone wears new clothes that may have not been very prominent earlier at midnight. It is time to celebrate and rejoice.
Meanwhile, the city’s bakeries were selling Easter eggs. The eggs signify new life. Easter eggs that are sold at the bakeries are not the usual chicken eggs that you can boil, fry or prepare omelettes with. These are hollow eggs, bigger in size than usual eggs, stuffed with goodies.
Some have a hard marzipan shell and when you shake them you can tell that they have sweets inside. Some are made of chocolate. At the United Bakery in Saddar this year, they had Easter eggs of all flavours. The ones wrapped in golden foil were chocolate, while the ones in red, blue and green foil were strawberry, vanilla and mint. The chocolate ones got sold out first.
Children also prepare their own Easter eggs at home by painting and decorating egg shells. There are also very expensive Easter eggs sold abroad that are studded with precious stones and used as jewellery boxes as well as eggs that are themselves the jewels and passed on through generations as precious heirlooms.
Another fun character seen around this time is the Easter Bunny. The smiling Easter Bunny is usually carrying a load of Easter eggs in its basket. The bunny is an Easter symbol because it represents fertility, springtime and hence new life.