Nelson. On 18th Dec 2004, at United Reformed Church, Nelson, Pendle Asian Christian Forum arranged a Christmas dinner to raise Asian Christian awareness and to pray for world peace. Special guests included Rt. Rev. Bishop of Burnley, Rt. Rev. Bishop of Faisalabad John Samuel, Cllr. David Foster, Inspector Richard Clare, Colne Police station and Mr. Yaqub Masih.
The president PACF Mr. David Dean and Mr. Kenneth Massey hosted the programme. The programme started by reading from Holy Bible by Mrs. Pearl Karrim and the Rt. Rev. Bishop of Faisalabad offered a prayer. Mr. O’Neil Bashir introduced the programme,
“We strongly believe that laws that encourage religious hatred should be abolished and steps should be taken to ensure peace and harmony within communities and individuals with each other. We should all be proud of our religious beliefs whether we are Christians, Muslims, Jews or Hindus or belong to any other Faith, tolerance is a key. All Religions have a common message and that is of peace.”
General Secretary of Asian Christian Fellowship UK, Mr. Yaqub Masih spoke about Christmas celebration in UK and how the signs of Christmas and Christianity are slowly fading, whereas signs of the other religious festivals are higher keyed than Christmas. The Christians in Asia suffer persecution and subjected to religious hatred but still celebrate Christmas, as the rest of the world and have a strong Christian faith. We live in a multicultural society in England, which is a Christian country and all Christian festivals and traditions should not be compromised, but should be given equal importance as other faiths and we should be proud of our Christian heritage and Christian Faith.
Mr. David Armstrong, the head teacher of the Holy Savior R.C primary school presented the Karrim Family who has been victims of religious hatred. Rev Sally Thomas, Rt. Rev Bishop of Burnley and Rev Dr Mushtaq Masih of Grace Community Church also said a few words. Rev David Butler offered the prayer for world peace and Rt. Rev. Bishop of Faisalabad conducted the benediction.
The traditional meal was served. Pendle Asian Christian Forum Wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy and prosperous New Year.