The Festival of Christmas that is celebrated today by the Christians of Sri Lanka marks the nativity of Jesus Christ, President Mahinda Rajapaksa states in a message to mark Christmas. The message: “It is the belief of Christians that the birth of Jesus
Christ paved the way for the liberation of humankind with the new teaching of universal love, tolerance and understanding that he gave to the world.
The life of Christ saw a total commitment to the liberation of people from the bonds of the beliefs held at that time, and showed the way to freedom from poverty and spiritual liberation through the spread of love, and the spirit of sharing and forgiveness that underlines the teachings of Christianity.
The world today that faces the enormous challenges of economic imbalance, poverty, environmental threats and terrorism could greatly benefit from the Christian message of love and tolerance, which began with the Star over Bethlehem that heralded the birth of Christ.
The Christian message of humanity, love to all beings and humility is seen in the birth of Christ taking place in a stable shared by animals and his first worshipers being humble shepherds.
The Christmas Festival is also one of importance to all Christians as it is the time of family reunions, and the sharing of gifts that transcend social and other barriers.
As the ringing of church bells and singing of festive hymns mark this festival, enjoyed in freedom today, I extend my warmest greetings for a happy Christmas full of Peace and Joy to all Christians of Sri Lanka.”