Christians celebrated Christmas on a grand note today in the two Telugu states.
Followers of the religion started prayers at midnight on Monday in various churches in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, which were all decorated and illuminated beautifully for the occasion. They greeted and hugged each other, sang psalms praising Lord Jesus Christ, and listened to bishops enlightening them about the festival.
Christmas celebrations were also held on a grand note at the Medak CSI church, the second largest church in Asia. Christians not only from the two Telugu states but also from across the country visited the church to participate in the special prayers. Bishop Solomon Raj conducted a rally in the early hours carrying a cross on the premises of the church.
Former minister G Jagadish Reddy took part in the special prayers organized at a church in his Suryapeta constituency. Similarly, TRS MLA from Mancherial Diwakar Rao took part in special prayers held at the CSI church at Hamaliwada in his constituency. In Khammam town, local MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and MLA Puvvada Ajay Kumar took part in the special prayers held at Saint Mary's Church.
Christmas celebrations were also held at various places in Andhra Pradesh including at capital Amaravathi. In the Prakasam district, pastors conducted special prayers at the century-old historical Chirala St Louis Marks Lutheran church. In Visakhapatnam all the churches echoed with special prayers from midnight.
The CSI Church in Pulivendula in YSR District saw YSR Congress Party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy accompanied by his family members YSRCP honorary president and his mother Y S Vijayamma, his wife Y S Bharathi, George Reddy, E C Gangi Reddy and Y S Vivekananda Reddy participate in the Christmas celebrations. Senior bishops and priests conducted special masses and read out Christmas messages. Speaking on the occasion, Jagan's mother Y S Vijayamma said that God had given her a good husband and a wonderful family. "I also feel God was with me and my son during the murder attempt on him, and he survived only because of His blessings. God is on my son's side now," she said. She expressed her gratitude to the people who prayed for Jagan.
Governor E S L Narasimhan, Chief Ministers K Chandrashekar Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu, and Leader Of Opposition in the A P Assembly Y S Jaganmohan Reddy had earlier extended greetings
to the people.