Sunday, January 29, 2023

War in peace

On December 25 people in Nagaland will join the rest of the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ that was a fulfilment of the prophecies foretold 700 years by prophet Isaiah(7:14) before His birth. For most Christians, or 2.5 billion of the world’s nearly 7 billion people, celebrating Christmas on December 25 is an occasion to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is one of the most popular and grand festivals to be celebrated all over the world. Regardless of geographical location, every culture has its special way of celebrating this merry year-end occasion and making the holiday unique. Christianity came to India along with Thomas the Apostle who introduced the religion to the people on the Malabar Coast, which is in the current day Kerala, in the 52 AD. From there on began the spread of Christianity in India and the majority of the Christians dwell in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, etc.There is no Christmas message in the bible since the birth of Christ was itself the message that was foretold centuries before the birth about the messiah who would reconcile between God and man as the peacemaker and mediator. The birth of Jesus Christ signifies God’s love for mankind. Christ came as a sacrifice for peace between God and man. He came not to condemn the world but to show of God’s enduring love for mankind and to offer Himself as salvation offering. Christmas is a reminder that God’s plan for the redemption of the world is already fulfilled in Christ. That is why Christians believe and celebrate the birth or Jesus Christ. However, this time, the celebrations will be much dampened in the Europe due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The invasion has added a huge burden on the western nations and their NATO allies. The people of Ukraine will continue to face a long, bitter, cold and bloody Christmas as Russian forces relentlessly fire missiles and explosives at civilian populated areas and with the intention to destroy gas and power sources. Russia has targeted Ukraine’s critical infrastructure throughout the war, plunging Ukraine into long outages. The nationwide barrage of Ukraine knocked out power supply of around 10 million (1 crore) people in Ukraine. Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy and power facilities have fuelled fears of what the dead of winter will bring. Ukraine’s energy infrastructure had again been targeted. Thus, in Ukraine the people are faced with the constant fear of death without any respite even as Christmas, the birth of the Prince of Peace dawns across the world. Even in India, Christians are apprehensive about their freedom to practice their faith through surreptitious directives issued to states against any kind of conversion. According to the law any conversion from Hinduism to another religion has to be through fraud or coercion and thus, an offence that invites fine and imprisonment for upto seven years. However, the Christian faith does not shy away from persecution. On Christmas day, believers will be reminded about why Christ came to earth and what those who believe in Him ought to do to honour His name.

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