RAWALPINDI: Churches of the garrison city observed Palm Sunday - the first day of the ‘holy week’ that culminates with Easter.

“PalmSundayfalls onSunday, a week before Easter. On this day, according to Christian beliefs, Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem on a donkey.

“The residents of the city laid down their cloaks and branches of trees, includingpalmand olive, in front of him to accord him a warm welcome,” said Munir Masih, a senior community member at Christ Church situated near the GHQ.

He said after Palm Sunday, people would assemble in churches on Friday, which is called Good Friday, to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

He said Easter gave us a message of love and peace, respect for others and forgiveness.

“Christians across the country want peace for everyone,” he added.

Another community member, Rashid Manzoor, led a procession around Christ Church. Later a Holy Mass was also conducted.

In their sermons, the Christian clerics stressed the need for religious tolerance, fraternity and brotherhood, saying, “All of us should make efforts and play a positive role for the development of the country and spreading love and peace”.

Special prayers were held in churches for the well-being of humanity as per the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Nasir Wilson, a resident of Christian Colony located behind Holy Family Hospital, said the holy week had started and the Christian community had made arrangements for Easter.

He said we have decorated our houses and arranged gifts for our families.

He said Easter was a festival to celebrate with families, which was why he had invited all his brothers and sisters for dinner.

On the other hand,the district administration and Rawalpindi police made special security arrangements in and around churches.

Leaders of various political parties also visited Christian localities to express solidarity with the community.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2024

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