As Christmas celebrations kicked off around the world on Wednesday, Christians across Pakistan marked the birth of Jesus Christ with traditional festivities and holiday cheer amid tight security.
Special services were held in illuminated churches throughout the country while devotees also offered prayers for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.
Strict security measures were taken to ensure safety of the Christian community and forces had been deployed outside churches to thwart any untoward incident.
Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter to wish Christian citizens a happy Christmas.
President Arif Alvi wished Christians across the world and in Pakistan a merry Christmas and included a quote by Jesus regarding peace in his message.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif also extended Christmas wishes to members of the community, writing: "May this day bring peace, happiness and prosperity for all!"
"May this day be one of peace and joy for all, and let the message of tolerance and inclusiveness resonate across the world today," wrote PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in his Christmas message on Twitter.
Pope Francis in his Christmas Day message urged the world to let the light of Christmas pierce the “darkness in human hearts” that leads to religious persecution, social injustice, armed conflicts and fear of migrants.
Header image: Christian devotees attend Christmas Day prayers at the Sacred Heart Church in Lahore on Wednesday. — AFP