Srinagar: Srinagar Municipal Corporation Mayor, Junaid Azim Mattu on Saturday said that it is because of the syncretic culture that every community feels safe and respected in Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking to reporters after visiting St. Luke’s Church Srinagar on the occasion of Christmas, Mattu said that that all communities are one here and the city has a syncretic identity and historicity.
He said that under the leadership of Athar Aamir, the Srinagar smart city corporation has beautifully and with utmost attention restored this historic St. Luke’s church in the city and it was an appreciative gesture.
“To preserve this syncretic culture all these steps, which are taken, by all stakeholders are absolutely appreciable and welcome. Our Christian brethren are celebrating this festival with cheerfulness and they are feeling happy as their festival is being respected. This is the essence of Srinagar city that all communities feel respected, equal, cherished and valued,” he said.
Mattu said that Saint Luke’s Church is 125-year-old historic church of Srinagar and due to the efforts of Srinagar smart city corporation that after a period of more than 30 years, a religious congregation was held here on this auspicious occasion of Christmas.
“The Department of tourism has also played a positive role in reopening this church,” he added.
Replying to a question, he said that he has written a letter to LG Manoj Sinha and have requested him to restore Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid Srinagar.
“Closing the Masjid preemptively is not a good step, but responsibility also lies with its Auqaf to ensure that the place remains peaceful and is not politicised,” he said.
Notably, Junaid Mattu today visited the St. Luke’s Church at Dalgate and greeted the Christain community on the eve of Christmas.