NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Christmas with members of the Christian community at his official residence.

Modi reminisced about his ties with Christians dating back to his tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister. A diverse assembly, including priests, were on hand at a ceremony filled with Christmas carols sung by a local school choir.

“The Christian community has always played a role in providing guidance to society. It has always been active in social service,” stated Modi, highlighting the community’s frontline efforts in aiding the poor and the deprived. He praised the enduring impact of Christian institutions in healthcare and education.

The decision to host the Christmas celebration stemmed from a request by the Indian Minority Foundation, marking the first time a Prime Minister invited members of the Christian community to celebrate the holiday at the official residence. Among the attendees were prominent figures such as Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop Anil Couto, athlete Anju Bobby George, actor Dino Morea, and influential business leaders.

Reflecting on the Christian community’s role in India’s freedom struggle, Modi emphasized the centrality of Jesus Christ’s message of compassion and service. He highlighted the shared values between different faiths, underscoring the inclusive approach India has long featured.

Modi drew parallels between the Pope’s words and the BJP-led government’s development mantra of “sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas, sabka prayas,” emphasizing his commitment to ensuring that development reaches every segment of society, including Christians.

During the celebration, community leaders praised various initiatives of the Modi government, and Modi encouraged them to promote government programs, especially those catering to youngsters. He sought their support for initiatives like ‘Fit India,’ the use of millets, the anti-drug campaign, and the ‘Vocal for Local’ program.