Annual Christmas Gathering and Excellence Award Ceremony 2023

Lahore, December 14th: The Christian Journalist Association of Pakistan (CJAP), in collaboration with the Church of Pakistan (COP), organized its Annual Christmas get-together on December 14th at St. Peter's School Hall, Waris Road, Lahore. The event aimed to foster nationwide networking among Pakistani Christian journalists.

The Rt. Rev Dr. Azad Marshall and the Former Minister of Human Rights, Minority Affairs & Interfaith Harmony Punjab (Pakistan), Ejaz Alam Augustine, graced the event as chief guests. The choir of St. Peter's Church added to the event's allure with their carols, while Mr. Nasir Jameel adeptly hosted the proceedings. Distinguished guests included Mr. Zaheer Abbas, Coordinator of the Church of Pakistan, Rev. Shahzad Gill, Senior Chaplain to Moderator COP, Fawad Fazal, and Sumaira Shafique advocate.

In his welcoming address, The Most Rev Dr. Azad Marshall, Moderator of the Church of Pakistan & Bishop of Raiwind Diocese, lauded Mr. Kashif Nawab's initiative in uniting Christian journalists. He underscored the urgency for the Church to acknowledge the rising persecution of Christians and called for solidarity. Dr. Marshall highlighted the etymological significance of "Journalism" in Urdu, derived from "Saheefa" (scripture in English), emphasizing the profound importance of journalism.

Ejaz Alam Augustine, in his address, celebrated the privilege of truth-telling in journalism, noting the inseparable nature of politics and journalism in influencing world movements. He acknowledged the additional responsibilities bestowed upon journalists in the era of artificial technology and expressed concern over the rise of untrained individuals claiming journalistic status through social media. Augustine pointed out the increased threats Christian journalists face, especially when covering sensitive topics like the misuse of blasphemy and the persecution of Christians, and commended their resilience and dedication.

The event also featured the presentation of the Excellence Award 2023. Recipients included Haroon Yousaf from National News Nama, Sohail Yousaf, Editor of Pak Christian News, Kamran Choudhry from UCAN, Dr. Salamat Tabassum, Shamaun Saad, Tahir Tufail, Nasir Jameel, Nadeem Gill, Sheeba Gill, Shahbaz Ghosh, Sameer Ajmal, Ejaz George, and Gamaliel Dogra. These individuals were honored for their outstanding contributions to Christian journalism in Pakistan.

Other speakers, such as Mr. Kashif Nawab, CJAP coordinator, Sumaira Shafique advocate, Anoch Faiz Advocate, and others, also addressed the gathering, sharing insights and experiences. The event concluded with a delicious lunch, providing an opportunity for attendees to mingle and celebrate their shared commitment to truthful and impactful journalism.

The Annual Christmas get-together and Excellence Award Ceremony 2023 not only recognized the achievements of Christian journalists in Pakistan but also reinforced the community's commitment to integrity, truth, and solidarity in the face of challenges.