DHAKA The holy Christmas, the biggest religious

festival of the Christian community, was celebrated today in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world with festivity and enthusiasm commemorating the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ on the day, which is a public

holiday in Bangladesh and most other countries across the world.

On the occasion, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina issued separate messages greeting the members of the Christian

community.

The Christians in Bangladesh celebrated the Xmas festival with a huge

enthusiasm and religious fervor by holding special prayers, illuminating

churches and installing makeshift Xmas trees at homes and places of worship

and missions.

Ringing of church bells in the midnight marked the advent of the day

when the followers of the faith welcomed it with carols assembling in

churches and other such venues.

Churches and adjoining areas were decked out with colourful tiny

blinking lights, while illuminated Christmas trees placed with a star

standing right on top as elder people of the community attired in the outfit

of Santa Claus made fun with children and distributed gifts as part of a

universal Christian practice.

The security was beefed up at different strategic points in the capital

and many other places of the country to ensure peaceful celebration of the

festival.

Calling Jesus Christ as an ambassador of emancipation and beacon, the

president said Jesus Christ had preached the sermons of peace in the world as

his philosophy was to establish a peaceful society with full of love,

services, forgiveness, compassion and justice.

I think the teachings and ideals of Jesus Christ are very rational to

establish peace, harmony and unity in nation-to-nation of this problematic

world, he added.

Noting that the Father of the Nation dreamt to build a happy, prosperous

and non communal country, the president urged all to forge unity to build a

non-communal Bangladesh.

The head of the state hosted a reception for the members of Christian

community at the President's palace on Christmas Day where a Christmas tree

was set up and candles were lit.

State Minister for Religious Affairs Advocate Sheikh Md Abdullah,

Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, Dean of Diplomatic Corp Archbishop George

Kocheri, President of Bangladesh Christian Association Nirmol Rozario,

envoys, representatives from different foreign missions, distinguished

persons of the Christian community, religious leaders and professionals

joined the reception.

A group of singers performed the Christmas carols at the reception.

Later, the president cut a Christmas cake with members of the Christian

community and joined a photo-session with them.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)