Easter is an important religious festival-a day Christians celebrate to commemorate the rebirth of Jesus Christ. It is also the culmination of the entire year’s worship and prayers and 40 days of fasting by the Christian brethren followed by celebration and jubilation. Culturally, it signifies a lot more. Especially in ethnically and religiously diverse countries such as Pakistan. It is a celebration full of color and life. Not to mention colorful eggs and adorable bunnies, which are taken as symbols of new life itself. A typical Easter celebration starts with church service in the morning. The festivities then continue through the day as people meet their relatives and celebrate.
As many celebrate this day joyously with their friends and family, we must remember that some are still reeling from the terror attack two years ago on Easter. On March 27th, 2016 a bomb attack in Gulshan Iqbal Park claimed around 75 lives injuring hundreds of others. It was a terrible crime against innocent citizens of the country. And, another reminder that some fragments of society are just more vulnerable targets of senseless crimes.
The government this year has vowed foolproof security to churches where Christians will celebrate Easter. National Assembly Speakers also extended a celebratory gesture to the Christian community; they detailed the history of Easter and wished all those celebrating a joyous day. It is always welcoming to hear those in power recognize minorities and wish them well on their events.
However, while the government does their bit, as citizens it is imperative we do our part as well. This year, as celebrations are underway, whoever is privileged as the majority in the country, let’s vow to protect our minority community. Those empowered enough to celebrate their religious festivals with ease should step forward and help others celebrate theirs. Community building at a micro level is the only thing that helps nation building. It is what helps us realize that there is truly unity in diversity. A parishioner in Lahore also said that the church services always pray for peace and security in Pakistan and the world. This is a wish no different from people of any other religion in Pakistan whether Muslims, Jews, or Hindus. Let’s protect our Christian brothers and sisters while they pray for the protection of the county that is home to us all.