Christmas isn’t just for the 3 million Christians in Bangladesh, it is a time of peace and harmony for us as a nation.
In a year that has been riddled with various instances of communal hatred, this day gives us the opportunity to reflect on what makes Bangladesh such a strong and diverse community in spite of all the hurdles we have faced.
Despite claims to the contrary, Bangladesh’s identity as a secular country is indisputable.
From Santals to Hindus, Buddhists to Christians, ours is a truly diverse nation. And even though, from time to time, an unscrupulous few have attempted to divide our nation through either hateful speech or direct violence, we have always stood our ground, upheld our secular values, and have never bowed down to neither cowardice nor malice.
US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom David N Saperstein has rightfully recognised Bangladesh for being the diverse, pluralistic country that it is.
As a nation, ours has excelled at promoting freedom of worship -- a country where Christmas is celebrated with just as much fervour as Eid, or Buddha Purnima, or Durga Puja.
Today, we have one more reason to reflect on our values, rejoice in communal harmony, and celebrate Christmas regardless of our individual religious identities.
As we say our goodbyes to this year, let us look forward to a year of even more unity and peace, let us share in the struggles of those less fortunate, lend a hand to those in need, and stay in tune with the spirit of Christmas.
The Dhaka Tribune wishes all its readers a very Merry Christmas.