Christmas celebrated with fervour in AP

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On the occasion, Santa Claus distributed candies and toys among dozens of toddlers waiting in a queue.

"People put star at the top of the Christmas tree because it was the star which showed way to the three kings where the Christ was born".

"It was pleasing to see lot of non-Christians celebrating Christmas with the community".

Similar prayers were held at other churches including the Saint Joseph's Church in north Kashmir's Baramulla, the oldest Catholic Church in Jammu and Kashmir and at the Church in the tourist resort of Gulmarg.

Christmas greetings to family members and friends were filled with lots of peace and love all over the country.

"We prayed for world peace and especially for peace in Kashmir".

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He said people from across the world visit Kashmir during winter and come to churches and celebrates Christmas.

The Tourism Department in Gulmarg had made elaborate arrangements for making the festival grand lighting up lanterns and organizing cultural programmes.

Shah said the officials of the Tourism department would also attend travel and trade fairs to woo more tourists to Kashmir.

"Occasions like Christmas remind us to rekindle the spirit of harmony, brotherhood & lead a virtuous life". "Kashmiris are peaceful", said a local devotee Margaret Mary after Christmas prayers", adding "Peace will return soon to Kashmir by Jesus's grace".

She hoped that this Christmas would further strengthen the relations between the Christians and the people of other communities.