MULTAN: Christians celebrated Easter with great religious fervour and enthusiasm on Sunday amid tight security. Easter is the culmination of the 40-day Lent, which is a time of fasting, giving alms and repenting.
Special midnight services were offered at all churches throughout the country to mark the beginning of the Easter celebrations. In Multan, Bishop Dr Andrew Francis led the mass at the Cathedral at 11.30 pm. Extra security measures were taken at churches in Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions.
"We have taken foolproof security measures for the safety of Christians and police guards are deployed at all churches on the eve of Easter," said Acting DIG Police Multan Range, Munir Ahmed Chishti.
He said 2,000 policemen were deployed at 423 churches. At least 40 officials of Mobile and Tiger Squads would patrol the city on 20 motorcycles, while 15 police vehicles would patrol the areas where 'A' category churches were located.
SP Security had provided metal detectors to police deputed at churches. He said deployment of police officials had been doubled at 33 churches of 'A' category.
Dr Andrew Francis, bishop of Multan felicitated Christians on Easter, observing that Easter is a feast of love, tolerance and peace. He prayed for peace, progress, prosperity and solidarity of the country.
The biggest Easter Sunday congregation was held at the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Multan Cantonment.
Daska: Christians celebrated Easter with religious fervour in Daska and Sambrial tehsils on Sunday. They prayed for peace, national integrity and prosperity of the country during church services.
Meanwhile, Sialkot District Nazim Muhammad Akmal Cheema has urged the Christian community and other minorities to play their role in purging the country of terrorism. Addressing a meeting of the Christian community on Sunday, he said terrorists were trying to sabotage the peaceful environment of the country.
Cheema said minorities enjoyed complete religious freedom in the country, as the government was making efforts them.
Sialkot: The Christian community in the city celebrated Easter on Sunday to remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians throughout the world celebrate Easter to mark the end of Lent, the 40-day repentance period.
A large number of Christians visited churches. Christians believe that Jesus resurrected on Easter Sunday after being crucified on Good Friday. Easter is celebrated to mark the belief that Jesus Christ died for the sins of humanity.
Easter is celebrated after 40-day atonement and sacrifice known as Lent. Holy Week is the final week of Lent. The first day of Lents is called Ash Wednesday and many Christians attend special services during which they receive a stroke of ash on their foreheads. The ash symbolises the humility, which Christians are going to face.
Most Christians observe Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring. Thus Easter could be on any Sunday between March 11 and April 15.
Many symbols are associated with Easter including the cross, Easter lilies, which represent the purity of new life, and a lamb that links the Christ's death to that of the lamb sacrificed on the first Passover. Like Christmas, Easter has numerous traditions including Easter eggs, Easter baskets, Easter bonnets, Easter parades and Easter brunch. staff report