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.
Ahmadis / Qadianis
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
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
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,
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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,
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.
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
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.
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 &
List of Christian
Member(s) of National Assembly of Pakistan
Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti
Dr. Nelson Azeem
Mr. Akram Masih Gill
Mr. Manwer Lal
List of Christian
Members(s) of Provincial Assembly of Punjab
Mr. Kamran Michael
Mr. Joel Amir Sahutra
Rana Asif Mahmood
Mr. Khalil Tahir Sindu
Mr. Pervaiz Rafique
Mr. Tahir Naveed
Ms. Joyce Rufin Julius
Engineer Shahzad Elahi
List of Christian
Members(s) of Provincial Assembly of Sindh
Mr. Salim Khursheed
Mr. Stephen Asif Peter
List of Christian
Members(s) of Provincial Assembly of Pakhtunkha (NWFP)
Mr. Asif Bhatti
Mr. Prince Javed
List of Christian
Members(s) of Provincial Assembly of Balochistan
Mr. Jaffer George
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
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.
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
Squadron Leader Peter Christy
Wing Commander Mervyn L. Middlecoat
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
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.
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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
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
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.
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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:
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
6-Ministry of Minorities Affairs, Government of Pakistan.
7-Pakistan Defense forum.com
8-Pakistan Air Force
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