Celebrating the birth of baby Jesus is one liberty we enjoy amid limited religious freedoms, a Caritas official says
Children at the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta have rehearsed well for a traditional Christmas play they were forced to abandon by a terror attack five years ago.
The mayhem caused by two suicide bombers at the church in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province in 2017 is still fresh in the minds of the survivors.
“My eldest daughter was acting as Mary and the son was playing an angel. The terrorists jumped over the church gate, killing nine people and wounding 57. The costumes of some of their friends were stained with blood,” recalls Pastor Simon Bashir.
The nativity play was never held thereafter due to the looming fear of terrorism and then the coronavirus pandemic.
This year, Pastor Bashir encouraged his three children to participate along with their friends, some of whom belong to families of the victims.
The kids performed the nativity play at the jam-packed church on Dec. 11.
“Their spirits were high thanks to the Sunday school training. Even those injured sang jingles. We are not afraid of terrorists,” Bashir to UCA News.
The Methodist Church has dedicated the fourth Sunday of Advent to the martyrs.
Every year the worshipers place garlands and candles in front of a banner emblazoned with photos of the victims to mark the anniversary of the 2017 terror attack.
“The blood of the martyrs is the seat of the church,” the banner states.Christmas under the shadow of terrorism in Pakistan – UCA News