Stories about Jesus Christ

9 times PM Imran Khan made us cringe and laugh our way through ‘Naya Pakistan’

There has hardly been a moment of peace over the past eight months since Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power, given the sheer number of controversies he has caused on a regular basis. Imran is famous for speaking extemporaneously and saying whatever comes to his mind; facts and reason be damned. It doesn’t help that his army of cult followers do not have the ability to think past his persona and move beyond the Kaptaan fan club. But Imran often moves beyond saying controversial things to making statements that are absolutely ridiculous, resulting not only in national embarrassment but also ...

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Is it really ‘shirk’ to wish someone a Merry Christmas?

As Christmas is nearing, I am starting to see the occasional anti-Christmas messages on the internet that say that greeting on the occasion of Christmas is haram (forbidden) according to scholarly consensus. Some are claiming that saying “Merry Christmas” is tantamount to committing “shirk” or associating partners with Allah. Of the many clerics that push this view, Dr Zakir Naik is a prominent one. He says, “What people don’t realise is that when you are wishing Merry Christmas, you are agreeing that Jesus Christ was born on the December 25th and… he is the son of God… which is shirk.” True, Islam is based on ...

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Why is Barack Obama’s religion our business?

Sitting by the television this morning, going about my morning rituals of brewing coffee and toasting bread for a quick breakfast, I came across CNN running a blurb, advertising a documentary series titled Finding Jesus. I couldn’t resist mumbling to myself, “Jesus Christ, really? Is this 2015 or 1515? Are we living in times when mankind was still groping in the dark, trying to outline the philosophical basis of divergent faiths or hoping to find the Supreme Being using some historical, hypothetical evidence to prove that all the luminaries of religions did indeed exist?” Why will an established news network like ...

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Why can’t we clean our streets and houses ourselves?

It was December 25, 2014 and I was heading out for work. As I approached the main gate, my eye caught sight of our building’s notice board. The words scribbled on the board left me dumbfounded. It read: “Important Notice: On December 25 and December 26, on account of the Christian community’s religious festival, Christmas, the sweepers will be off. Hence, on these two days, residents are requested to make sure garbage is not dumped on their balconies and special care is taken of their surroundings, with regards to cleanliness. Thank you.” Photo: Ishrat Ansari Though born and bred ...

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There is no difference between Christmas and Eid

Tis’ the season to be jolly! December always comes with great tidings; winter chills, hot chocolate, numerous holidays and an opportunity to make new resolutions. And along all this, it also brings the joyful day of Christmas. This day is an embodiment of religious beliefs, which celebrates a miraculous event and a time of togetherness. Two billion Christians all over the world celebrate this day with great spirit and felicity. As a child, the idea of Christmas for me was all about decorating Christmas trees, receiving presents and Santa stuffing himself down a chimney. I used to be most excited about meeting Santa ...

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Why is Pakistan a pariah at the Lord’s Cricket Ground?

Being out of place is a funny feeling – it’s nothing unbearable but it always keeps you outside your comfort zone. For an expat Pakistani, life in the UK is fraught with pangs of this feeling. This is usually evident during the festive season of Christmas when you are always in a dilemma as to whether you should celebrate Jesus’s birthday – with all the commercialism thrown in – with your neighbours, friends and colleagues or refrain from it due to differences in Muslim and Christian beliefs about Jesus Christ. Usually, one does well to acquire a middle ground. This year, however, I decided ...

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I am a Hindu and Allah (SWT) dwells in my heart

Mahatma Gandhi shares an interesting anecdote in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth. “One day an ardent atheist heckled a Christian clergyman. ‘Well, sir, you believe in the existence of God?’ ‘I do,’ said the good man in a low tone. ‘You also agree that the circumference of the earth is 28,000 miles, don’t you?’ said the atheist with a smile of self-assurance. ‘Indeed.’ ‘Prithee, tell me the size of your God and where he may be?’ ‘Well, if we but knew, He resides in the hearts of us both.’ And the atheist shook his head in disbelief.” In my view, the clergyman was right to ...

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Hallelujah Band: Spreading a message of hope in Pakistan

“A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together” – Margaret Atwood Given the unending discrimination which the Christians of Pakistan live with, certainly no words or actions can pacify or comfort them completely. The community lives under constant threat of  persecution, attacks or the blasphemy law, fearing that any day something might happen that will shatter their lives forever. Despite all this, the Christian community remains steadfast in its faith. Soon after the twin suicide attacks inside the All Saints Church of Peshawar, I relentlessly began looking for ...

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I am a Muslim who celebrates Christmas – and you should too

I plan to take my family out for dinner. I may call it a Christmas dinner and I don’t think there is anything wrong in calling it that. As Pakistanis, I think it is a great coincidence and blessing that today is also the birthday of our founder, Quaid-e-Azam, whose message wasn’t far off from what Jesus Christ taught us. Not only is there a religious connotation but a national association to this day for us to be united as one, spread the love and share the blessings with those less privileged. Before anyone takes objection to the term “Jesus Christ” please note ...

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Ancholi blasts: When will we remember that the white in Pakistan’s flag represents minorities?

Another bomb blast; another attack on the Shia community. The blast in Ancholi, Federal B Area was so loud that my windows shook and the children woke up even though I live miles away. I shudder to think what must have happened to those near its epicentre. I have walked in those streets, bought things from the stores now destroyed, spoken to the residents in years past and played cricket with one of the dead victims. Now it has been reduced to rubble and dust, and become another statistic in the growing litany of acts of violence against a besieged minority. The true ...

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