Christians

are the largest religious minority community in Pakistan. The total
numbers of Christians in Pakistan are at l...
This caused deep concentration among the Hindus in view of their failure to eliminate
Buddhism while the Gupta Empire was ...
The Christianity came into the subcontinent by the
Evangelical Mission of Apostle Thomas. The story
itself is that at the ...
The British Missionaries in the Subcontinent

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi

In 1877, on St. Thomas' Day at Westminst...
Muhammad Ali Jinnah Founder of Pakistan

When political independence was won by the people of the South Asia in 1947, the
...
In the Government of Pakistan
The Government of Pakistan is to protect the rights of minorities as
envisaged under the Con...
Mr. Peter John Sahotra former
Minister Minister of State
For Minorities Affairs

Mr.Shabaz Bhatti Federal Minister
for Min...
List of Christian
Members(s) of Provincial Assembly of Punjab
S/No

Name(s)

Party

1.

Mr. Kamran Michael

PML(N)

2.

Mr...
In the Armed Forces of Pakistan
Below are brave men of Pakistan Air
Force who fought for their country
courageously and br...
Christian Martyrs of Pak Indo war 1971
Wing Commander Mervyn L. Middlecoat 2 times Sitara-e-Jurat the Master of F-104
Star...
In the Education
Forman Christian College is one of the oldest and
highest ranking colleges of South Asia, founded by Dr.
...
In the Sports
One of Pakistan's greatest batsmen, Yousuf Youhana, was also Christian, but he recently
willingly converted ...
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Christianity portal new1

  1. 1. Christians are the largest religious minority community in Pakistan. The total numbers of Christians in Pakistan are at least 2,000,000 in 2008, or 1.1% of the population at that time. Of these, % in 1998 was Catholics. However, current number of Christians is debatable as i.e. Catholic Church's record of births contains higher figures than this. The 1.1% figure mentioned here is at the lower end of a range of estimates that run as high as 2%. The figure normally quoted is around 2.5% (CIA World Fact book, Operation Mobilization) or 3%. In 1998 there were 1,400,000 members of Protestant Church. Christian political parties are claiming that Christian rose up to 10% of population of Pakistan. An issue is not confirmed by the Government of Pakistan. Punjab Sindh NWFP Balochistan Total % Christians 1,699,843 294,885 36,668 26,462 2,057,858 42% Hindus/Schedule Caste 116,410 2,280,842 5,090 39,146 2,441,488 50% Ahmadis / Qadianis 181,428 43,524 42,150 9,800 276,902 6% Others 48,779 23,828 14,726 6,471 93,804 2% Total 2,046,460 2,643,079 98,634 81,879 4,870,052 Source Ministry of Minorities Affairs History of Christian Nation in Subcontinent The roots of Pakistani Christian relate to Aryan clan of warrior and ruler in Asia. Their ancestors on migration from central Asia might have dreamed that their generation would ever become the slaves of slaves in the subcontinent of India. The present, deteriorated social, political and economic situation of Christians in Pakistan is created by certain elements, but before discussing the cause of this situation, we must go through history. If we go back to epoch of history when Aryans from Central Asia migrated to India and entered the Indus valley through Khyber Pass. The raised livestock and rode chariots, but their history was constant war amongst themselves and between the various clans. The Aryan clans and tribes were Sakas, Parthians and Kushan. Te Hans and Gujjars tribes of Aryans settled in the northwestern region of India. These tribes were also called Ganga (immaculate collection of people). The Hans and Gujjars arrived in the fifth century A.D. in the Indian subcontinent. At that time the famous Gupta Empire revived Hinduism and crushed in some parts the influence of Buddhism in India, but still the Gupta Empire came under invasion of Aryans form Central Asia. -1-
  2. 2. This caused deep concentration among the Hindus in view of their failure to eliminate Buddhism while the Gupta Empire was fully supporting them. Therefore, the Hindus of the subcontinent of India, greatly impressed by the warfare ability of the Hans tribes of Central Asia, decided to request that they accept the ranks of kshatrys in Hinduism, which confers the responsibility of ruling. As the Aryans settled in India and began to grow crops, the people started to have occupation, in each tribe the people being to belong to one of four groups: Brahmin the priest, kshatryia the warriors, Vaishya the traders and agriculturists, and Shudra the worker. The third century A.D. such Hans tribes absorbed themselves in Hindu religion. Other groups Hans’s tribe’s descendants in India adopted other profession in the society. The English historian Todd describes Scythian origins to origins the Rajputs and Jats who became Sakas in south Asia region became Hindu as Kshatriyas. The Hans have been regarded as one of the 36 clans of Rajputs. Except Hans, all other became Buddhists or sun worshippers. Todd states the history of Punjab and describes 60 percent of the population comprising of Rajputs and Jats and various branches of their race as Awans, Khokhars, Khattars, Janjuas, Arians and Gujjars. All these races are originally the descendants of Central Asian tribes of the main Punjab from Rajput’s: consists of Bhatti, Punwar, Chuhan, Minhas, Tiwana, Noon, Chib, Gheba, Jodhra, Sial, Watto, Matto. Jat’s: tribe consist of Bajwa, Chatta, Cheema, Randhawa, Ghammon Butta, Khalon, Gill, Ranghar, Summa, Wahla, Malhi, Sukhera, Alpias, Dhas, Langh, Meo, Awans, Ghakkar, Sahotra. Most of these tribes who settled in Punjab region were converted to Islam when Sultan Mehmood Ghzanavi invaded India and entered through northwestern borders (Khyber Pass). Some Muslims named themselves to be the descendants of common ancestry form Qutab Shah, who is said to be accompanied with Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi from Ghzani in Afghanistan, but history does not prove these claims of Muslim tribes. There is also a proof of Muslim claims that they have connection with the Quresh tribes’ cousins of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) or of the conquerors of India, but these tribes accepted Islam during different periods of time. As far as, from these tribes who accepted Christianity in Punjab region, and races are the same and connected to the Hans’s tribes and descendants of Central Asian regions of India. It is fact that Christianity never came to India with any invader because already Christianity was in India when Aryans settled as immigrants. Christianity was preached in India in the 1st century A.D. Therefore, the Christian and Hind religions affected the descendant tribes in India who became Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan and Animist, but the original Hindus of India remained in Hinduism and never accepted either of the two religions. -2-
  3. 3. The Christianity came into the subcontinent by the Evangelical Mission of Apostle Thomas. The story itself is that at the division of the Apostles, India or subcontinent fell to the lot of Apostle Thomas, but he declared his inability to go to India and preach the teaching of his Lord Jesus Christ. But later proves that Apostle Thomas undertook to build a palace for Gundafor. The Incredulity of Apostle Thomas But spent money entrusted to him on the poor. He arrived to the city of the King Misdai, who converted to Christianity with wife and son. In the year 46 A.D. a King was ruling over Afghanistan, Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh, his name was Gondophares the IndoParthian king. Apostle Thomas entered India on his way to Persia. An evidence of the Taxila city near capital city of Islamabad inscription and discovery coins of the Parthian type with legends, others of the Indian type of legends dialect in Kharoshti characters, which prove the presence of Apostle Thomas in these regions, and more, can be said regarding details of “Acta Thomae” written by the Gnostic Romancer. In 1923 the great expedition of Marco Polo and his feedback from China tells us that he found Christians in India and especially he confirms the preaching of Apostle Thomas. Such details can be followed in the book “Marco Polo. YULE’S second edition, No.2, 338” According to tradition, the Indo-Parthian king Gondophares was proselytized by St Thomas, who continued on to southern India. It is on record that the Hans and Gujjars tribes of Aryans, which consist of Bhatti, Khokhar, Gill, Sahotra and many other bases, accepted Christianity in the subcontinent of India. Therefore, it is for submission in this trial that Christian currently living in Pakistan is faction from the same respectable tribes. The history proves that Christians of Pakistan also have great historical background in the subcontinent and that they do not belong to any lower class community but is a nation. The Muslims came to India in the 700 A.D. for trading and to build colonies in Balochistan and Sind regions. For the first time they also preached Islam and converted the majority of tribes to the religion of Islam. Therefore the tribes were divided in to religious groups of Christian and Muslims. The Muslim in Punjab joined the Muslim invader armies to conquer Hindu states, but Christian in Punjab refused to support, which was beginning point of fall for Christians in Punjab. During the Empire of 200 years, the Punjabi Christians were major targets and forced to scattered. Naturally, Christians of Pakistan are proud of their historical background of their ancestors and reserve right in claiming themselves a nation instead of a community as they are know now in Pakistan. -3-
  4. 4. The British Missionaries in the Subcontinent St. Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi In 1877, on St. Thomas' Day at Westminster Abbey, London, Rev Thomas Valpy French was appointed the first Anglican Bishop of Lahore, a large diocese which included, all of the Punjab and northwestern India, and remained so until 1887, during this period he also open the Divinity College, Lahore in 1870. Rev Thomas Patrick Hughes served as a Church Missionary Society missionary at Peshawar (1864–84), and became an oriental scholar. The exact introduction of Christianity to the South Asia is a debatable topic, with the Syrian Christian community in Kerala, South India being recorded as the earliest. Missionaries accompanied colonizing forces from Portugal, France and Great Britain, but in north western Ancient India, today's Pakistan, Christianity was mainly brought by the British rulers of India in the later 18th and 19th century. This is evidenced in cities established by the British, such as the port city of Karachi, where the majestic St. Patrick's Cathedral, Pakistan's largest church stands, and the churches in the city of Rawalpindi, Peshawar where the British established a major military cantonment. The Europeans won small numbers of converts to Anglicanism, Methodism, the Lutheran Church and Catholicism from the native populations. Islam was very strong in the provinces of Punjab, Balochistan and the North West Frontier Province, but small native Christian communities were formed. The largest numbers came from resident officers of the British Army and the government. European and wealthy native Christians established colleges, churches, hospitals and schools in cities like Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. Cathedral church of Resurrection, Lahore, In Pakistan there is a large Catholic Goan and Tamil community in Karachi which was established when Karachi's infrastructure was developed by the British before World War II, and the Irish (who were subjects of the British Empire and formed a large part of the British Army) were an important factor in the establishment of Pakistan's Catholic community in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. -4-
  5. 5. Muhammad Ali Jinnah Founder of Pakistan When political independence was won by the people of the South Asia in 1947, the organization and activities of the Christian community changed drastically. Christians in Punjab and Sindh had been quite active post 1945 in their support for Muhammad Ali Jinnah's Muslim League. Even before the final phase of the movement, leading Indian Christians like Pothan Joseph had rendered valuable services as journalists and propagandists of the Muslim League. Muhammad Ali Jinnah had repeatedly promised all citizens of Pakistan complete equality of citizenship in Pakistan. “The minorities are a sacred trust for us. The founder of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, had, right from the day of creation of Pakistan, unequivocally declared a policy of equality, freedom and security for all communities living in Pakistan irrespective of their religion, profession or ethnic origin.” Meanwhile a large body of lower caste Hindus converted to Christianity in 1947, increasing their population even further. Pakistan became an Islamic Republic in 1956, making Islam the source of legislation and cornerstone of the national identity, while guaranteeing freedom of religion and equal citizenship to all citizens of Pakistan. In the mass population exchanges that occurred between Pakistan and India upon independence due to conflict between Muslims and followers of Indian religions, most Hindus and nearly all Sikhs fled the country, but the Christians remained in Pakistan. The Christians of Pakistan are excellent and hardworking people. They have always been patriotic because they love their country. Christians have made some contributions to education, health sport, in Pakistan has been extraordinary. Christians have also contributed as educationists, doctors, lawyers and businessmen. -5-
  6. 6. In the Government of Pakistan The Government of Pakistan is to protect the rights of minorities as envisaged under the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, the Minorities Wing of former Ministry of Minorities, Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs was upgraded as a full-fledged Ministry in September 2004. Since then the Ministry is working for the betterment and uplift of various religious minorities in all over Pakistan. Pakistan's first non-Muslim and certainly most respected and 4th Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court was Justice A. R. Cornelius. Alvin Robert Cornelius (May 1903 - 1991), a Catholic, was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan from May 13, 1960 to February 29, 1968. He was a Justice of the Supreme Court for about 17 years. Born in Agra and known as 'Bobby', he was educated at the Allahabad University and at Selwyn College, Cambridge. Mr. Alvin Robert Cornelius Chief Justice of Pakistan (Retd.) Mr. Jamshaid Rehmatullah, the newly appointed Christian judge of the Lahore High Court of Pakistan will be sworn-in in a couple of days. In an interview Jamshaid Rehmatullah termed the development as a “positive omen” for Pakistani Christians as well as for other religious Minorities of Pakistan. Mr.Jamshed Rehmatullah Col (Retd.) S.K.Tressler ambassador to Republic of Kenya and Chief of Protocol and Federal Minister of Sports and culture in 2002. There are lot more Christian who are serving in various Government offices all over Pakistan. Pakistan’s first Catholic Priest by profession Fr. Rufin Julius from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in 1988 became the 1st Federal Minister of State for Minorities Affairs in 1988. A Lawyer by profession Mr. Peter John Sahotra having a very strong political back ground and prominent politician in Pakistani Christian Community from Pakistan Muslim League (N) Government he was appointed 2nd Federal Minister of State for Minorities Affairs in 1990. A social worker Mr. Julius Salik known as (J.Salik) was appointed Federal Minister for Population & Planning from PPP Government in 1995 proclaiming him as political leader of all nations in Pakistan regardless religion. Mr. Shabaz Bhatti a young and dynamic versatile leader newly appointed as Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs from PPPP in 2008. -6-
  7. 7. Mr. Peter John Sahotra former Minister Minister of State For Minorities Affairs Mr.Shabaz Bhatti Federal Minister for Minorties Affairs Mr. Julius Salik former Fedreal Minister for Population & Planning List of Christian Member(s) of National Assembly of Pakistan S/No. Name(s) Party 1. Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti PPPP 2. Dr. Nelson Azeem PML(N) 3. Mr. Akram Masih Gill PML 4. Mr. Manwer Lal MQM -7-
  8. 8. List of Christian Members(s) of Provincial Assembly of Punjab S/No Name(s) Party 1. Mr. Kamran Michael PML(N) 2. Mr. Joel Amir Sahutra PML(N) 3. Rana Asif Mahmood PML(N) 4. Mr. Khalil Tahir Sindu PML(N) 5. Mr. Pervaiz Rafique PPPP 6. Mr. Tahir Naveed PPPP 7. Ms. Joyce Rufin Julius PML(N) 8. Engineer Shahzad Elahi PML(N) List of Christian Members(s) of Provincial Assembly of Sindh S/No Name(s) Party 1. Mr. Salim Khursheed Khokhar PPPP 2. Mr. Stephen Asif Peter MQM List of Christian Members(s) of Provincial Assembly of Pakhtunkha (NWFP) S/No Name(s) Party 1. Mr. Asif Bhatti ANP 2. Mr. Prince Javed PPPP List of Christian Members(s) of Provincial Assembly of Balochistan S/No Name(s) Party 1. Mr. Jaffer George PPPP -8-
  9. 9. In the Armed Forces of Pakistan Below are brave men of Pakistan Air Force who fought for their country courageously and brought glory to their service. This information I have mentioned is not complete and I have mentioned very few of the significant historical events happened during the Pak Indo war of 1965 & 1971. Pakistani Christians also distinguished themselves as Great Fighter Pilots in Pakistan Air Force. Notable amongst them are out of these, besides Eric Gordon Hall, Steve Joseph and M.J. O’Brian rose to the rank of Air Vice Marshal and achieved the penultimate position in Pakistan Air Force and served as the Deputy Chief of Air Staff. AVM M.J.O’Brian (S.bt) It was a great privilege for Air Vice Marshal M. J. O’Brian also achieved an extraordinary distinction as having been so far the only and 1st Pakistan Air Force high ranking Officer to serve as the Commandant of National Defense College Quetta. (Presently known as National Defense University Quetta). Group Captain Nazir Latif, Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry, Squadron Leader Peter O'Reilly, Squadron Leader William D. Harney's performance and professional ability during the Pak Indo war in 1965 & 1971 operations has been of the highest order, for courage dedication to duty, they were awarded Sitara-i-Juraat. Air Vice Marshal Eric G. Hall (S.bt) S/L William D. Harney (S.J) Group Capt. Nazir Latif (S.bt) Group Capt.Cecil Chaudhry (S.bt) Group Capt. Cecil Chaudhry circled poses with other pilots PAF Base Sargodha. -9-
  10. 10. Christian Martyrs of Pak Indo war 1971 Wing Commander Mervyn L. Middlecoat 2 times Sitara-e-Jurat the Master of F-104 Starfighter and Squadron Leader Peter Christy B-57 Navigator made the supreme sacrifice by laying down their lives in defense of the homeland both Shaheed’s were awarded the Sitara-i-Juraat. The Christian’s of Pakistan are proud of these two heroes God Bless their souls…. Squadron Leader Peter Christy (S.J) (Shaheed) Sitara-e-Jurat Wing Commander Mervyn L. Middlecoat (S.J) (Shaheed) Sitara-e-Jurat, is the 3rd highest Military gallantry medal of Pakistan. It is admissible to all ranks for gallant and distinguished service in combat. It is normally awarded to officers /junior commissioned officers. It is interesting to note that out of a total of 70 Sitara-e-Jurat’s awarded to PAF officers in 1965 & 1971 wars, 7 seven were awarded to Christian officers. The tradition continues till today as the mantle is passed on to generation after generation of Christians in Pakistan Armed Forces. Besides these, there are lot more Christian officers who are serving in Pakistan Air Force’s flying squadrons even on F-16s. Also in Pakistan Army, Navy and Frontier Corp. They all are true professional’s soldiers and proud to be Pakistani Christian’s. Induction of Pakistani Christians in the Armed Forces has definitely decreased and there are a number of reasons for this. Because of gross discrimination against the minorities Christian youth have become demoralized and generally do not attempt to join the Armed Forces. Actually seeing highly professional officers being by-passed for higher promotions and eventually being superseded, thus asking early retirement, especially during the Chief Marshall Law Administrator President General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq period, has been a strong contributing factor. Unfortunately a large number of educated and talented Christian families have since migrated abroad due to frustration. - 10 -
  11. 11. In the Education Forman Christian College is one of the oldest and highest ranking colleges of South Asia, founded by Dr. Charles William Forman who arrived in India in 1847 and, two years later, settled in Lahore (now in Pakistan). He was the founder of the Rang Mahal School, Lahore which was the first Anglo-vernacular school in the Punjab (North West India). This school added a college department in 1865 which was later known as Forman Christian College. Dr. Forman was very influential in developing the educational system of Punjab. Sinclair Hall at Forman Christian College, Lahore There are many colleges and institutions in various parts of the country i.e. Karachi, Rawalpind Taxila, Sialkot, Quetta, Bannu, Tank and Peshawar. Unfortunately all the education and health institutions were nationalized during the PPP in 1971 Government of former Prime Minister Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the Province of Punjab, Sind, Balochistan. There was nationwide protest against nationalization of Christian institutions and to condemn discriminate firing on Christian’s peaceful procession in Rawalpindi. The Martyrs James and Nawaz who sacrificed their lives to save missionary schools and colleges in Rawalpindi. Those martyrs thought these schools and colleges are national property but they never knew “Clergy is sole owner”. The institutions were never returned back to Christians. Luckily the nationalization of institution in the Province of Pakhtunkha (former NWFP) was halt by secular Awami National Party (ANP) under the strong leadership of Late Khan Abdul Wali Khan. Khan Abdul Wali Khan In the Health Founded in 1860, it is the oldest medical school in Pakistan. It uses a number of hospitals including the Mayo Hospital, Lady Wellington and Lahore General Hospitals. The Mayo Hospital One of the largest in the country and founded in 1870. It was named after the then Viceroy of India. All specialties are available. There’s an excellent range of pathologies in all subjects and a busy A&E. Friendly staff/students. Christian Hospitals are also in various part of the country Faisalabad, Karachi, Rawalpindi Taxila, Sialkot, Quetta, Bannu, Tank and Peshawar. - 11 -
  12. 12. In the Sports One of Pakistan's greatest batsmen, Yousuf Youhana, was also Christian, but he recently willingly converted to Islam, taking upon the new Islamic name Mohammad Yousuf. Apart from the Catholics, Christians of other denominations re-organized themselves, in India, into the Churches of North and South India respectively, and as the Church of Pakistan in 1948. The Christians of Pakistan are excellent and hardworking people. They have always been patriotic because they love their country. Never have they the case of social disturbance, either amongst themselves or with regard to any other group. Creating, or partaking in, a sectarian conflict is beyond there comprehension. Naturally, Christians of Pakistan are proud of their historical background of their ancestors and reserve right in claiming themselves a nation instead of a community as they are know now in Pakistan. Written & composed by Pastor Gulzar Augustine My sincere thanks in making of this subject & and I took references from: 1- Wikipedia 2-The Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation by Nazir S.Bhatti 3-YULES Marco Polo second edition No.2,238. 4-“Acta Thomae” written by Gnostic Romancer in 1923 5-Historain Todd 6-Ministry of Minorities Affairs, Government of Pakistan. 7-Pakistan Defense forum.com 8-Pakistan Air Force - 12 -

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