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Christmas celebrated with religious fervour

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On Christmas, a devotee prays at Holy Family Catholic Church, M A Road Srinagar on Tuesday. Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar, Dec 25: The miniscule Christian population of Kashmir Tuesday celebrated Christmas with traditional enthusiasm and religious fervour as the devotees thronged churches for mass and held special prayers for peace in the Valley.

The biggest mass in the Valley was held at the Holy Family Catholic Church at Maulana Azad Road in the heart of the city, where hundreds of Christians, including women and children, assembled to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ and held special prayers.

The church was decorated with colourful buntings and balloons.

In his Christmas message, Father Jobi of Holy Family Catholic Church said the day is very important day for the entire world when birth of Jesus is being celebrated across the globe.

“Jesus was born to bring peace, so the message of Christmas is love and peace,” father Jobi said.

The priest said the community held very special prayers for Kashmir as the region is going through very difficult times.

“I prayed for the peace in Kashmir. Today in a very special way we prayed for peace in Kashmir. As we all know that Kashmir is a place where we have lot of trials and tribulations and tensions. Let this Christmas bring love and peace in Kashmir,” he said.

He said Jesus in his life preached only love and peace and lived for peace only.

“We believe when there is love among people there will be peace among all the religions,” father Jobi added.

A two-hour-long prayer was held from 11 am at the church in the heart of summer capital Srinagar.

Among those who prayed were tourists from different parts of the country who joined the locals on the auspicious day and prayed for peace in Kashmir and rest of the world.

Similar prayers were held at other churches in the city, at Saint Joseph's Church in north Kashmir's Baramulla, the oldest Catholic Church in Jammu and Kashmir, and at the Church in the tourist resort of Gulmarg.

However, people missed 'White Christmas' as snowfall has eluded the lower reaches of the Valley so far.

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