[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] Christians from different churches took to the streets of the Pakistani city of Peshawar in December for what the local diocese called a “mega Peace Rally.” Christians in the region have suffered from numerous terrorist attacks in recent years. So last month the Diocese of Peshawar and Campus Crusade organised a march through the provincial capital to stress the significance of the coming of the Prince of Peace.
It marked a major turn-around for a diocese which, was forced to cancel Christmas celebrations for two years following a sustained campaign of terrorism targeting Christians.
Christmas was “re-instated” in 2015; but last month’s public march is a significant sign of confidence by the Christian community.
The Bishop of Peshawar, Humphrey Peters, used the rally to urge people of different faiths and beliefs to “develop understanding and respect for each other’s religions” and to “promote a culture of peace and tolerance as per the teaching of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.”
Around 200 Christians took part in the march through Peshawar, which began at St John’s Cathedral. They were joined by local political leaders and leaders from all the Christian denominations in the region.
“It stressed the need for joint efforts of all religions to established durable peace in the country,” the Diocese of Peshawar said in its newsletter, published today. “The participants were holding placards and chanting slogans regarding the birth of Jesus and His message of Peace on Earth.”
The diocese said that the “unique show” attracted thousands of people on the streets to watch.