Pakistan’s Christians have been out and about this Christmas season, celebrating the holiday in true Pakistani style.
Hundreds of party goers in Pakistan ride camels, trucks and bicycles to celebrate Christmas and promote tolerance. pic.twitter.com/7GFpi4siUN
— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 22, 2016
The Christmas Peace Rally has made quite a splash in the headlines, especially as Pakistan is known for its ill treatment of minorities, which include Christians.
But to quote the latest Star Wars movie, “revolutions are built on hope” and Pakistan’s Christians always know how to keep hope alive. The Pakistani government did its bit by inaugurating a Christmas Peace Train in Islamabad that will travel up and down the country for Christmas to celebrate and appreciate the Christian community, many of whom worked for the Railways in earlier eras.
Are these just sentimental gestures, symbolic and superficial? No. This is really a show of strength against those elements that want these people to disappear, especially when coming from a state institution like Pakistan Railways and backed by the Minister for Railways himself. We need the government to take some kind of stand, no matter how symbolic or silly. Symbolism and silliness matters in the face of people who don’t want celebration, joy, or happiness from anything but their own warped dogma.
This feels like a triumph against something that was eating our country alive. Long may tolerance and plurality thrive in Pakistan. We’re trying, we really are. Forgive us our trespasses. And Merry Christmas to all.