Silchar, Dec 25: Amidst joy and gaiety, Christmas was celebrated in Barak Valley. Pastor S Megha Chandra Singh, Silchar Baptist Church, said that on this holy day, followers praise and pay tribute to the advent of Jesus Christ, the prince of peace and the saviour of humanity. It is the season of peace, prayer and joy for the followers of the Christian faith. Jesus stands for love, harmony and self renunciation for mankind. The celebrations in churches across the valley began with singing of carols and gospels from early morning.
In Silchar Baptist Church, invocation prayer was delivered by Dr. S Fame Singh. Miranda R Chanu read out the scriptures. Besides, a congregation sang the gospels in English, Bengali and Hindi languages. The offertory prayer was delivered by Kushing Kamei. Pastor A Karmakar, from Malda, West Bengal, was the chief-guest and delivered the main speech on the occasion. A Karmakar said the central tenet of Christianity is the belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah. Christians believe that Jesus was anointed by God as savior of humanity, and hold that Jesus’ coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the old testament.
The announcement and benedictory prayer was led by Pastor Megha Chandra Singh. The Christmas tree along with jingle bells have been installed in the prayer halls and public places across the valley. Various business establishments also have installed Santa Clauses and Christmas trees before their business premises to entertain and attract customers. Special offers on the occasion of Christmas have also been launched by business establishments, both online and retail. There are three major churches in this town, Catholic Church in Holy Cross School, Presbyterian Church in Oriental High School and Baptist Church near district administration office.
L Jawahar Singh, supervisor of the Bible College, informed the scribe that ‘Constant Voice’, a musical band from Dimapur, will perform in the evening to add extra fuel to the celebrations. About 2000 people have visited the church compound on the occasion. It is to be mentioned here that Christianity is India’s third largest religion according to the census of 2011, with approximately 2.78 crore followers, constituting 2.3 percent of India’s population. The works of scholars and Eastern Christian writings state that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who visited Muziris in Kerala in AD 52 to spread the gospel amongst Kerala’s Jewish settlements.