Archbishop Joseph Arshad inaugurated the Christmas tree (pictured), which bears witness to the birth of Christ. 

By Shafique Khokhar

Dec 19 2020

For Archbishop Arshad, this gives him feelings of joy and happiness because the people of this city are preparing for the birth of Christ despite the pandemic. “I really feel that this Christmas must bring happiness to the whole world and that we will soon solve all our problems,” he said.

RAWALPINDI – Many people in Pakistan decorate Christmas trees and put stars and nativity scenes in churches, homes and streets to celebrate the Christmas season and prepare for the birth of Jesus.

In Rawalpindi, Christians erected a huge Christmas tree in centrally located Kacheri Chowk, which comes under the  Rawalpindi Development Authority.

Archbishop Joseph Arshad inaugurated the Christmas tree (pictured), which bears witness to the birth of Christ. He noted that this gives him feelings of joy and happiness because the people of this city are preparing for the birth of Christ despite the pandemic.

“I really feel that this Christmas must bring happiness to the whole world and we will soon solve all our problems,” he said.

Praying for all Christians and for brotherhood, peace and prosperity in Pakistan, he explained that the Christmas tree is a symbol of joy and testimony to the birth of Christ. He also invited all Christians and members of other communities to visit him and celebrate the joy of Christmas.

The Christmas tree was raised under the supervision of Albert David, a member of the Pakistan National Minorities Commission, who worked with his team to get permission from the authorities.

David posted pictures of the tree on his social media account, saying that churches, hotels and shopping centres also had decorations, but they decided to put the tree on Kacheri Chowk, a major road going to Murry, Mall Road, and Islamabad’s old international airport with thousands of cars travelling at any given time.

The area also has well-known educational establishments, like the Fatima Jinnah Women’s University college, and three large hospitals. It is also served by a range of restaurants, from fast food to desi restaurants, like McDonalds and to Alif Laila Biryani House.

This Christmas tree will bear witness to the birth of Christ. “My team has worked hard to make my dream come true for years. I have done all of this so that people can see and celebrate the feast of the birth of Christ,” he added.

In 2018 they erected the tree in the same place, but this time it is bigger and his team is planning to make it even bigger the next year. For his part, David is grateful to the district administration for helping them with permits and electricity.

David urges Christians and churches to come here to see the tree, bringing their choirs to sing Advent hymns, celebrate the Christmas season, and bear witness to the birth of Christ.

Karachi human rights activist Kashif Anthony told AsiaNews that the tree is a sign of religious freedom, a message of hope, love and diversity in a country, Pakistan, that must be shown this type of activity as testimony to the whole world. A Christmas tree in the middle of Rawalpindi becomes a witness to the birth of Christ.

“Our country and the whole world are going through a difficult period because of pandemic,” he said, “but this shows that we have not lost our hope in Christ and that we can celebrate Christmas in such a difficult time, asking for ‘well-being and prosperity’ for our country.“ – Asia News