Let us dedicate ourselves to create a better society
President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa wished all Christians in Sri Lanka and around the world a merry Christmas filled with joy and prosperity where Jesus’ teachings of forgiveness, humanity and love spread across the country.
He said in his Christmas message that the dawn of Christmas brings immense joy to all, awakening the hearts of devotees of the noble religion of Jesus Christ, which brought the message of peace and harmony to the world.
“The real meaning of Christmas is to make our lives meaningful. For that, we need to fill our hearts with love and compassion while completely eliminating sinful thoughts. We must uncover the path of spirituality shown by the Jesus to the whole world by getting rid of all wrongdoings. Christianity interprets it as the eternal life.
“The sound of hymns tells us ‘peace be upon pious individuals’. Our aspiration and commitment is to usher in a society with virtuous humans. We strongly believe that the desire and the blessings of the God is also for the same objective. We should take steps to prevent recurrence of mournful experiences occurred at the sacred places of worship in the recent past. At present there is an environment in the country where citizens can celebrate Christmas without fearful thoughts and suspicion. It is the aspiration of all kind-hearted persons which became a reality, and it will provide relief for the hearts which were deeply saddened and shaken,” he said.
“Let us again dedicate ourselves with determination to create a better society where all the human beings will be treated equally, the way Jesus Christ taught us,” he said.
The real meaning of Christmas is to make our lives meaningful. For that, we need to fill our hearts with love and compassion while completely eliminating sinful thoughts
Request to all Christians in Sri Lanka to exercise freedom of worship
Wishing all Sri Lankan Christians a holy and peaceful Christmas, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the new government was committed to the task of dispelling the darkness of religious terrorism and restoring security and peace to our motherland.
“I wish to convey my warmest felicitations to all Sri Lankans celebrating Christmas – the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. His Holiness Pope Francis described Christmas as ‘the feast of faith in the Son of God who became man in order to restore us to our filial dignity, lost through sin and disobedience’. For Christians around the world, this is a time to celebrate the life and teachings of Jesus Christ - and his message of compassion, courage and empathy. Christmas has also traditionally been a time of good cheer and joyfulness with family gatherings, feasting, the giving of presents and the midnight services in Church. Children especially, look upon Christmas as the time Santa Claus comes visiting. Christmas has always been a symbol of innocence and joy,” the Premier said in his Christmas message.
“However, Sri Lankan Christians celebrate Christmas this year in the somber backdrop of the suicide bombings on Easter Sunday which left hundreds dead and hundreds more injured or maimed for life. Some of those injured in those dastardly attacks are still receiving treatment. The Christians of Sri Lanka became the deliberate targets of religious fanatics who do not believe in the religious freedom of others. This year, Christmas services in Church will be held amidst unprecedented security arrangements due to the situation arising out of the Easter Sunday attacks. This is symbolic of the sad plight that our motherland has been plunged into as a result of divisive and narrow minded politics based on ethnicity and religion,” he said.
The Premier said though all Christians in Sri Lanka will be marking Christmas under a pall of gloom owing to the barbaric attacks on Easter Sunday, they should be mindful of the words of the Gospel according to St John which says ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’.
“The new government of Sri Lanka is committed to the task of dispelling the darkness of religious terrorism and restoring security and peace to our motherland. My request to all Christians in Sri Lanka is to exercise their freedom of worship, without allowing extremist forces to succeed in suppressing that freedom,” he said.
Some of those injured in those dastardly attacks are still receiving treatment. The Christians of Sri Lanka became the deliberate targets of religious fanatics who do not believe in the religious freedom of others