Karachi Easter less about bunnies, more about prayers this year. By Hasan Mansoor
17 Apr 2006
KARACHI: Christians in Karachi celebrated Easter with austerity as the sacred day fell close to the time of two violent incidents â€“ a stampede at a women's prayer meeting and a bomb blast at another prayer meeting. Twenty-one women and eight children died in the stampede while over 50 people died in the bomb blast and scores of others were injured.
"We are celebrating this occasion with complete austerity to express our solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters," said Rev Father Menard who runs Christ the King Seminary in Sector 13-D Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Keith, a business executive at a private firm at I. I. Chundrigar Road, said his family normally holds an impressive party on Easter but this time round they postponed it. "It is hugely difficult to party and celebrate when we see many families have been ruined by a tragic incident," he told Daily Times. "Instead, we have offered prayers and visited each other's houses to mark the occasion," he said.
Christians belonging to all faiths and sects attended midnight candle services at churches across the city and calmly attended morning Easter services. "Normally, we arrange full scale celebrations to mark the resurrection of Christ but this time we celebrated it calmly and austerely," Father Menard said.
Elizabeth Ashraf, a resident of Saddar, said a difference of faiths and religion could not divide people who live together and share moments of joy and sorrow. "I am a Christian but I was also a born Karachiite like my children. How can we dissociate ourselves from the rest of the people of Karachi and celebrate when others are in distress," she says.