Taking Santa out and putting Christ back into Christmas!

To counter the increasing commercialization of Christmas in Pakistan we sent out our Lahore Officer Naveed Aziz to Youhanabad on Christmas Eve to share
bibles and gifts to people residing in a city that has been struck by two bomb attacks in just two years.

Shops in the Christian community often display Christmas lights and images of Santa but only ten years ago streets would have been filled with little
nativity scenes produced by churches and Christian groups, a tradition that seems to be on the decline.

Alarmed by the usurpation of Christmas by fictional character Santa Claus based loosely on the generosity of an ancient Christian saint, we set out
on a mission to share the true gospel message of Christs birth and the salvation that faith in Him grants to all people. 

Naveed bought a white top and a black marker and wrote the words “Santa is not real, but Jesus is.  He is the reason for the season,” on the front
of the top.  On the reverse of his top the same sentences were written in Urdu so that all could read them. 

Donning a Christmas hat and carrying a sack of gifts – primarily bibles I must say – he set off to share the Gospel on the streets of Lahore.  As
he met people he questioned them on why Christmas was important, using their answers to share news of how salvation was through faith not good works.
 Explaining that people simply had to commit to follow Christ and repent of their sins became quite a revelation to both Muslims and Christians
that he met. As he asked people about whether they believed they were saved many realized they were not sure and Naveed shared a sinners prayer with
them. For those who showed a keen interest he gave a free copy of our recently printed BPCA bibles. Moreover, a surprise shawl was given to women and
a surprise Indian suit was given to men. 

People were moved by the Gospel and this was a chance to engage with nominal Christians and help them to give their lives back to Christ, to ensure
they obtain their rightful gift of salvation. All those that were given bibles were given our contact number and advised that if they wanted to learn
more about the bible, Christ, the trinity or any other Christian matters they could make contact with our officers to seek local churches, bible study
groups or join an on-line ministry that is being operated by Mehwish Bhatti our Chief Pakistan officer.

Naveed has also maintained contact details for all of the recipients and will remain in contact for advice and discipling.  This work will not
remove Santa from commercial stores and products.  But it provided a real opportunity to change the lives of a few people and we ask people to
continue to pray for those that heard the word and rededicated their lives to Christ.  Please pray for a strengthening of their faith and for
God’s arm of comfort to help them survive in a land where Christian persecution is on the rise.

Naveed Aziz, said:

“God has put it in my heart that I should be an evangelist.  Sharing God’s words on the streets of Lahore is risky but how can I say no to God?  I am grateful to the BPCA for giving me this opportunity to initiate my calling, especially in printing bibles that I might share the Word of God with so many.  Some Christians simply wanted a new bible and that was rewarding but for me the special thing about this mission was that 9 people committed their lives to God and said a sinners prayer. God rejoices when one person returns to the fold but 9 people is a real cause for celebration. Praise our almighty God forever!”

If you would like to contribute to our work including the cost of printing bibles at £4 per copy please (click here)