In a show of solidarity with the families devastated by Tuesday’s horrific Taliban attack on Army Public School (APS), Christians have cancelled all Christmas celebrations and decided to observe the day with simplicity in all churches of the city.
“We have decided to hold Christmas services and special prayers at all churches of the city and will not hold any celebrations,” Ernest Jacob, the Bishop of the Orthodox Church in Pakistan, told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.
Jacob said the militant attack on the school was the deadliest assault in the country’s history and the Christian community can never hold religious festivities at such a sombre time.
According to Jacob, special prayers will be offered for peace and stability in the country during Christmas masses.
Bishop Humphrey Peters of the Church of Pakistan said the loss of precious schoolchildren have left the entire city in grief. “We endured the same grief when All Saints Church was brutally attacked,” said Peters, requesting the city’s Christians to observe a simple Christmas and pray for peace.
Meanwhile, the Churches Association of Hazara Division also made similar announcements. Advocate Zakir Paul Hussain, while chairing an emergency meeting of the association, said the Christian community is equally saddened over the APS attack.
Following the meeting, the association announced cancellation of Christmas celebrations across Hazara Division saying only regular masses will be held.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2014.