Terror threat sounds death knell for traditional Christmas festivities in Peshawar

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Peshawar, Dec. 25 (ANI): The aggravating law and order situation in the provincial metropolis has forced the Christian community not to hold the Christmas fair at the Saint John Vianney Catholic Church, breaking the decades old tradition.

"The Christian community itself decided not to hold the fair keeping in view the present deteriorating security situation in the city," said Father Yousaf of Saint John Vianney Catholic Church.

"Neither the government, nor any security agency stopped us from arranging the fair but being responsible citizens of the country, we have decided not to take unnecessary risks," he was quoted by The News, as saying.

The father also said that special prayers would be offered for peace and security in the nation on Christmas day.

Apart from the disappointment of the traditional fair being cancelled, the Christian community has also failed to make proper preparations for the colourful festival because of deteriorating security situation in Peshawar.

In comparison to the last year, very limited number of Christians visited the bazaars for shopping gifts and festivities.

Another culprit to sour the mood of the community has been the price-rise. "Though prices of necessary items have gone beyond the buying capacity of common man, yet they have to celebrate the event and buy things for the purpose," said James Cyprian, a Peshawar-based journalist.

Many Christian employees have demanded that they too be disbursed salaries like done before Eid to celebrate their special event.

"I cannot afford to purchase clothes and other essential items for my family. Like Eid, the government should disburse salaries to Christian employees before Christmas so that they could celebrate Christmas with religious zeal," a Christian employee said. (ANI)

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