Mangalore, Dec 25: In a unique step aimed at fostering unity, Mangalore south MLA J R Lobo, along with state minister for fisheries and port Abhayachandra Jain and other leaders of Congress celebrated Christmas at the Muslim Central Committee office, Kudroli Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple and Jamiyyatul Falah premises here on Wednesday, December 25.

They also offered special prayers to the deities of Kudroli Temple. Cake cutting and distribution of kuswar and sweets was held in all the three places.

In his message, J R Lobo said, “All religions are same and preach the same values. All believe in one god but in different forms, hence we must uphold harmony among communities. Ours is a land of unity in diversity and thus we have to set an example and be a role model to other countries.

“Islam and Christianity are almost similar, their holy books are also similar. Basically Hinsuism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity preach and teach us unity and peace and so we must live in harmony together as brothers and sisters,” he said.

“Dakshina Kannada must become a district of communal harmony and thus pave the way for overall development of the district,” he added.

Abhaychandra Jain said, “Festivals unite us and this celebration being organized today is a prime example for this. The MLA has personally visited various places today to share the joy and happiness of Christmas, which in itself has given a strong message to the people.”

He added, “Communal harmony like in India is found nowhere else in the world, and as an example of this Christmas is being celebrated in Muslim Central Committee and Jamiyyatul Falah offices and Kudroli Temple. People of Tulunadu lived in harmony before and there is a need to continue to live in peace and coexistence in the present days also.”

Ibrahim Kodijal, T K Sudhir, Balakrishna Shetty, Denis D’silva, Austin, Roshan, Krithin Kumar, Ashraf, Haneef, Badruddin, Aboobakkar, Shekabba, Moosa, Sri Sri Sathyanandatirtha Swamiji, H S Sairam, Saduddin Saleeh, Nazeer Ahmed, P B A Razak, B S Mohammed Basheer, Mohammed Panemangaluru, Imtiaz Khateeb and others were present.