- Title: Pakistan's Christian community attend midnight mass amid tight security
- Date: 24th December 2019
- Summary: KARACHI, PAKISTAN (DECEMBER 24, 2019) (NIGHT SHOTS) (REUTERS) POLICE OUTSIDE CENTRAL BROOKS MEMORIAL CHURCH, TRAFFIC PASSING SIGNBOARD READING (English): "THE CENTRAL BROOKS MEMORIAL CHURCH" ARMED POLICEMEN STANDING OUTSIDE CHURCH GUN HELD BY POLICEMAN VARIOUS OF ILLUMINATIONS IN COURTYARD OF CHURCH CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATION READING (English): "MERRY CHRISTMAS" (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu/English) CHRISTIAN PRIEST, PADRE SHAHID ANWER, SAYING: "(English) Christmas is a message of gift sharing. (Urdu) The arrival of Jesus Christ in this world is message of peace and love. In a world where there are battles, disturbance and enmity, the arrival of Jesus Christ is a blessing and message of peace and security. (English) Christmas is a message of get together and sharing." WORSHIPPERS PASSING THROUGH SECURITY GATE WHILE ENTERING CHURCH MAN RINGING CHURCH BELL
- Embargoed: 7th January 2020 20:05
- Keywords: Christians Christmas Jesus church holidays mass religion service
- Location: KARACHI, PAKISTAN
- City: KARACHI, PAKISTAN
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001BBC5R2F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hundreds of worshippers belonging to the tiny Christian community in Pakistan's biggest city of Karachi attended Midnight Mass on Christmas eve on Tuesday (December 24) amid tight security.
The worshippers passed through security gates before they were allowed to enter the churches. Security has been tight across the country during the Christmas period with hundreds of policemen deployed around churches.
There were no specific security threats, but churches and Christians have been attacked in past years in Pakistan.
In 2017, at least nine people were killed and more than 56 injured when four attackers broke into a church in the southwestern city of Quetta just a week ahead of Christmas. Islamic militants targeted Christians at a Lahore park during Easter, 2016. At least 72 people were killed in the bomb attack.
Christians make up about two percent of Pakistan's majority Muslim population of 208 million.
Security is on high alert across Pakistan because December 25 is a public holiday, not only because of Christmas but because it is the birthday of Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
(Production: Waseem Sattar, Shahabuddin Shahab)
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