Pakistan Christians Celebrate Low-Key Christmas

The Pakistan Christian minority celebrated a low-profile Christmas, fearing attacks against churches and recovering from the recent earthquake disaster.

“We decided to celebrate this Christmas on a low profile because of the massive earthquake destruction and last month’s attacks on our worship places in the city of Sangla Hill,” Shahbaz Bhatti, the head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance told the Agence France Presse.

On Nov. 12, over 1,000 Muslims torched three churches, a convent, a Christian school, a girls’ hostel, and a priest’s home. The mob even burned Bibles, Christian literature, crosses and other Christian materials, and set fire to Christian homes, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

The massive 7.6 magnitude quake on Oct. 8 was another reason Pakistan Christians had a quiet Christmas this year. Christians remembered the quake victims during the holiday and special prayers were held in churches across the country for survivors. In addition, Christians donated gifts after mass prayers to children in quake affected areas, Bhatti reported.

To date, the quake has killed over 73,000 people and caused 3.5 million people to be homeless.

Christian make up less than three percent of the country and has long demanded changes to the country’s blasphemy law to prevent excuses to harass Christian minorities.