I am sitting in Ranchore Lines, Karachi, on a fine April noon in the home of Violet, which is confined to one bedroom and one restroom only. She presents a tray decorated with a cup of English tea and some mithai (a Pakistani sweet delicacy). She sits on the chair and all her children sit by her side.
Violet is a mother of seven, two girls and five boys. Violet's husband died in 1997, when she was 38. "Bringing up seven children alone is not easy in a city like Karachi," she said, "My children were really young when my husband died."
"I am not afraid of any heinous act of miscreants," says Violet. Dressed in a stunningly beautiful red Shalwar kameez, Violet is a woman of strength. She explained that Easter is not just a single day of celebration rather it is a week-long celebration. "The entire week is an amalgamation of prayers and ceremonies held at Churches," said Violet. "We celebrate Easter in the last week of Lent."
When asking Violet regarding the scarcity of public processions on the occasion of Easter in Karachi, she replied that they are free to hold public processions and are not bound by any law. "We don't hold public processions, because some elements of the society don't advocate it."she replied.
Violet further added that over the years, the situation of Karachi has aggravated. "It is not only Christians who are being targeted in their Churches, but even the Muslims face the heat from different religious group. The recent incident in Peshawar, where more than 100 children were massacred, shook entire Pakistan."
Violet asserted that no one can stop them from going to their place of worship. "A terrorist attack in a Church or a Mosque will not decrease the number of worshippers. We had even greater attendance at the processions in Church this year," she explained. "We stand resolute and such terrorist elements can't stop us from celebrating Easter or stop a Muslim from celebrating Eid."
When asked what was the meaning of Easter according to her, she said, "Easter is a day on which we hold special religious ceremonies and meet various people to exchange the message of peace and kindness."
When being asked the state of security in Churches, she says, "the security in our Church was really tightened and no one was allowed to enter the premises without security checking." She said it is sad to see that even religious places are not safe these days. "We prayed for the stability and unity of Pakistan in our ceremony," #Festivities