Due to syncretic culture, all communities feel respected in J&K: Srinagar Mayor
Srinagar, Dec 25: 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 here and the city has a syncretic identity and historicity.
“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. It is an appreciative gesture. To preserve this syncretic culture, all these steps, which are taken, by all stakeholders are absolutely appreciable. 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 the 125-year-old historic church of Srinagar. “Due to efforts of Srinagar Smart City Corporation a religious congregation was held there after more than 30 years on the auspicious occasion of Christmas,” he said.
He said the Department of Tourism has also played a positive role in reopening this church
“I have written a letter to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha with the request 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.
Earlier, the Mayor along with Commissioner SMC Athar Amir inaugurated the St. Luke’s Church at Dalgate to greet the Christian community on Christmas.
Commissioner SMC, CEO Smart City Athat Amir on the occasion said that the church had undergone severe structural damages. He expressed gratitude to Srinagar Smart City Team, Tourism department and the local artisans for restoring the church.