LAHORE – Christians all over the world including Pakistan are celebrating Easter with zeal and enthusiasm on Sunday.

Special prayers will be organised at churches across the country for the progress, prosperity, and security of Pakistan.

According to Ministry of Interior, there will be an optional holiday on 17th April 2017 (Monday) for the Christian Community.

Law enforcing agencies have taken special measures to ensure foolproof security on the occasion.

Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif congratulated the Christian community on the occasion and said the nation shares the Christian community’s happiness.

“Easter is an occasion to share happiness and joy with deserving people. Sharing the joys of others multiplies happiness,” CM Punjab said.

Stressing on the need to promote inter-religious harmony, Sharif said, “We need to promote the message of love and harmony everywhere today.”

In his message on the eve of Easter, the chief minister said that the Christian community was playing its role in the development of the country. He said that brotherhood, harmony, peace, love, and affection were the gist of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis, leading the world’s Roman Catholics into Easter, urged them on Saturday not to ignore the plight of immigrants, the poor, and other vulnerable people.

In his homily at an Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis recounted the Biblical account of Jesus Christ’s mother Mary and Mary Magdalene, filled with grief, as they went to visit his tomb.

Punjab’s IG on Saturday directed the police to make tight security arrangements across the province for Easter.

He instructed zonal and district police officers to coordinate with the managements of all churches in the province to ensure proper security arrangements such as walkthrough gates and metal detectors were in place.-APP