Christianity in Pakistan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pakistani Christians
PK Karachi asv2020-02 img43 StPatrick Cathedral.jpg
Total population
2.63 million
1.27% of the Pakistani Population[1]
Regions with significant populations
Especially in Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory

Christianity is the third largest religion in Pakistan,[1][2] making up about 1.27% of the population according to the 2017 Census.[3][1] Of these, approximately half are Catholic and half Protestant (primarily Anglican and Presbyterian). A small number of Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Oriental Orthodox Christians also live in Pakistan.[4][5][6][7]

Around 75 percent of Pakistan's Christians are rural Punjabi Christians, while some speak Sindhi and Gujarati, with the remainder being the upper and middle class Goan Christians and Anglo-Indians.[8][9]

As Punjabi Christians are mainly Dalit Christians—descendants of lower-caste Hindus who converted during the colonial era in India—their dire socio-economic conditions facilitate religious discrimination; for example, it is estimated that Christians fill about 80% of the manual sewer cleaning jobs in the whole of Pakistan.[10][11][12]


St Patrick's Cathedral Karachi

Thomas the Apostle is credited with the arrival of Christianity to the Indian subcontinent, establishing the community of Saint Thomas Christians on the Malabar Coast; Saint Thomas Christian crosses (Mar Thoma Sleeva) have been found all over the Indian subcontinent, including one near the city of Taxila in what is now Pakistan.[13]

In 1745, the Bettiah Christians, the northern Indian subcontinent's oldest surviving Christian community, was established by the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin under the patronage of King Dhurup Singh; the Hindustan Prefecture was raised in 1769 at Patna and later shifted to Agra, which was elevated to the status of a Vicariate in 1820.[14] The Capuchins, through their Agra Diocese and Allahabad Diocese, expanded their ministry and established in the 1800s Catholic churches in colonial India's northern provinces including Rajasthan, UP, CP, Bihar and Punjab, the latter of which now includes Pakistan.[14]

In 1877, on Saint Thomas' Day at Westminster Abbey, London, Rev. Thomas Valpy French was appointed the first Anglican Bishop of Lahore, a large diocese of the Church of India, Burma and Ceylon, which included all of the Punjab, then under British rule in colonial India, and remained so until 1887; during this period he also opened the Divinity College, Lahore in 1870.[15][16][17] Rev. Thomas Patrick Hughes served as a Church Missionary Society missionary at Peshawar (1864–84), and became an oriental scholar, and compiled a 'Dictionary of Islam' (1885).[18]

The Christians of colonial India were active in the Indian National Congress and wider Indian independence movement, being collectively represented in the All India Conference of Indian Christians, which advocated for swaraj and opposed the partition of India.[19][20][21] The meeting of the All India Conference of Indian Christians in Lahore in December 1922, which had a large attendance of Punjabis, resolved that the clergymen of the Church in India should be drawn from the ranks of Indians, rather than foreigners.[22] The AICIC also stated that Indian Christians would not tolerate any discrimination based on race or skin colour.[22] Following the death of K. T. Paul of Salem, the principal of Forman Christian College in Lahore S. K. Datta became the president of the All India Conference of Indian Christians, representing the Indian Christian community at the Second Round Table Conference, where he agreed with Mahatma Gandhi's views on minorities and Depressed Classes.[23] On 30 October 1945, the All India Conference of Indian Christians formed a joint committee with the Catholic Union of India that passed a resolution in which, "in the future constitution of India, the profession, practice and propagation of religion should be guaranteed and that a change of religion should not involve any civil or political disability."[19] This joint committee enabled the Christians in colonial India to stand united, and in front of the British Parliamentary Delegation "the committee members unanimously supported the move for independence and expressed complete confidence in the future of the community in India."[19] The office for this joint committee was opened in Delhi, in which the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University M. Rahnasamy served as president and B.L. Rallia Ram of Lahore served as General Secretary.[19] Six members of the joint committee were elected to the Minorities Committee of the Constituent Assembly.[19] In its meeting on 16 April 1947 and 17 April 1947, the joint committee of the All India Conference of Indian Christians and Catholic Union of India prepared a 13-point memorandum that was sent to the Constituent Assembly of India, which asked for religious freedom for both organisations and individuals.[19]

When Pakistan was created on 14 August 1947, the organization and activities of the Christian community changed drastically; the Catholic Union of India granted independence to its branches in Sind and Baluchistan in its Second Annual General Meeting in Bangalore in October 1947.[24] Some Christians in Punjab and Sindh had been quite active after 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.[citation needed] Jinnah had repeatedly promised all citizens of Pakistan complete equality of citizenship, but this promise was not kept by his successors. 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. 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. Pakistani Punjab is now over 2% Christian, with very few Hindus and Sikhs left. Christians have made some contributions to the Pakistani national life. Pakistan's first non-Muslim Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court was Justice A. R. Cornelius. Pakistani Christians also distinguished themselves as great fighter pilots in the Pakistan Air Force. Notable amongst them are Cecil Chaudhry, Peter O'Reilly and Mervyn L Middlecoat. Christians have also contributed as educationists, doctors, lawyers and businessmen. One of Pakistan's cricketers, Yousuf Youhana, was born Christian, but later converted to Islam, taking the Islamic name Mohammad Yousuf. In Britain, the bishop emeritus of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali is a Pakistani Christian.

In 2016, it was reported that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had banned all of the Christian television stations. PEMRA doesn't allow landing rights for religious content, allowing airing of Christian messages only on Easter and Christmas.[25]

Since 1996, the small community of Eastern Orthodox Christians in Pakistan was placed under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the newly formed Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia that was set up by the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[26] In 2008, the Diocese was divided, and Pakistan came under the jurisdiction of newly formed Eastern Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia.[27]

Deterioration of relations[edit]

Holy Trinity Church Murree

According to journalist Pamela Constable, in the 1980s and 1990s tensions between Christians and Muslims in Pakistan began to "fester". Constable credits the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the rise of military dictator General Mohammed Zia ul-Haq, and the influence of stricter religious teachings coming from the Gulf states as catalysts for the change. After the 9/11 attacks on the US, things grew worse with "many Pakistani Muslims" seeing the American response to the attacks "as a foreign plot to defame their faith."[28][29]

Pakistan's Christian community developed a "growing sense of concern", particularly over the strict blasphemy laws – which restricts any insults against the Islamic prophet Muhammad and makes the crime punishable by death – which many activists viewed as "being abused to target religious minorities. In the 1990s, some Christians were arrested on charges of blasphemy, and for protesting that appeared to insult Islam. John Joseph, a bishop in Faisalabad, committed suicide to protest the execution of a Christian man on blasphemy charges.[30][31]

In 2009, a series of attacks killed eight Christians in Gojra,[32] including four women and a child.[33] In 2013, a suicide bombing at a Church in Peshawar left more than 100 people dead, and a series of attacks at churches in Lahore in 2015 left 14 dead.[34] On March 27, 2016 over seventy people were killed when a suicide bomber targeting Christians celebrating Easter (though the majority of victims were Muslim in this instance) attacked a playground in Lahore.[35]


Christian Proportion of each Pakistani District in 2017 according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics
Christian population in Pakistan
YearPop.±% p.a.
1981 1,310,426—    
1990 1,769,582+3.39%
1998 2,092,902+2.12%
2017 2,637,587+1.22%
Source: [36][37][1]

While Christianity in Pakistan is growing fast, it is growing more slowly than the population as a whole, causing it to decline in percentage terms. This is due to low fertility rates among Pakistani Christians. Today, most Pakistani Christians live in Northern Punjab.

Apart from 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 1970. Politically, groups like the Pakistan Christian Congress have arisen. The New Apostolic Church also has followers in Pakistan.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) reports over 4,000 members in 13 congregations throughout Pakistan. LDS members are most prevalent in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.[38]

According to the Pakistan's National Council for Justice and Peace (NCJP) report 2001 the average literacy rate among Christians is 34 percent compared to the national average of 46.56 percent.[39]


Church in Islamabad
Outside of the Sialkot Cathedral

After the partition of India and the formation of Pakistan in 1947, many Sikhs were forced to migrate to an independent India.[40] Many Christians worked under Sikh landlords and when they departed the western parts of the Punjab region, the Government of Pakistan appropriated Sikh property to Muslims arriving from East Punjab.[40] This caused over 300,000 Christians in Pakistan to become homeless.[40] On top of that, rogue Muslims threatened Christians that Pakistan was made for Muslims only and that if Christians wanted to stay there, they had to live a life of servitude and perform sanitation work.[40] Some Christians were therefore murdered for refusing to pick up garbage.[40] In 1951, seventy-two Muslims were charged with the murder of eleven Christians after communal riots over agricultural land erupted.[40]

Many churches built during the colonial Indian period, prior to the partition, remain locked, with the Pakistani government refusing to hand them over to the Christian community.[41] Others have been victims of church arsons or demolitions.[41] In 1971, East Pakistan became independent as Bangladesh, and the majority of Pakistan's Hindus, who lived in Bangladesh, were severed from Pakistan. Pakistan became a culturally monolithic, increasingly Islamic state, with smaller religious minorities than ever.

With the governments of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Zia ul-Haq, more stringently Islamic laws transformed Pakistan. Conversion to other faiths than Islam is not prohibited by law, but culture and social pressures do not favour such conversions. Muslims who change their faith to Christianity, are subject to societal pressure. Extremely controversial were the blasphemy laws, which made it treacherous for non-Muslims to express themselves without being accused of being un-Islamic. Zia also introduced the Sharia as a basis for lawmaking, reinforced by Nawaz Sharif in 1991. Coerced conversions to Islam from Christianity are a major source of concern for Pakistani Christians, and the minority faces threats, harassment and intimidation tactics from extremists.[42]

Discrimination in the Constitution[edit]

Christians, along with other non-Muslim minorities, are discriminated against in the Constitution of Pakistan. Non-Muslims are barred from becoming President[43] or Prime Minister.[5] Furthermore, they are barred from being judges in the Federal Shariat Court, which has the power to strike down any law deemed un-Islamic.[44] In 2019, Naveed Amir, a Christian member of National assembly moved a bill to amend the article 41 and 91 of the Constitution, which would allow non-Muslims to become Prime Minister and President of Pakistan. However, Pakistan's parliament blocked the bill[45]

In 2019, a Christian journalist quit the channel Dunya News after she was allegedly persecuted for her faith by co-workers and insulted for not converting to Islam.[citation needed]

Blasphemy Laws[edit]

Several hundred Christians, along with Muslims themselves (though much fewer in comparison), have been prosecuted under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, and death sentences have been handed out to at least a dozen.[46]

Pakistani law mandates that any "blasphemies" of the Quran are to be met with punishment. On July 28, 1994, Amnesty International urged Pakistan's Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto to change the law because it was being used to terrorize religious minorities. She tried but was unsuccessful. However, she modified the laws to make them more moderate. Her changes were reversed by the Nawaz Sharif administration. Some people accused of blasphemy have been killed in prison or shot dead in court, and even if pardoned, may remain in danger from imams in their local village.[47]

Ayub Masih, a Christian, was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 1998. He was accused by a neighbor of stating that he supported British writer Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses. Lower appeals courts upheld the conviction. However, before the Pakistan Supreme Court, his lawyer was able to prove that the accuser had used the conviction to force Masih's family off their land and then acquired control of the property. Masih has been released.[48]

On September 22, 2006, a Pakistani Christian named Shahid Masih was arrested and jailed for allegedly violating Islamic "blasphemy laws" in the country of Pakistan. He is at present held in confinement and has expressed fear of reprisals by Islamic fundamentalists.[49] (Note that the name "Masih", which comes from Arabic المسيحيين Al-Masihiyyin, "Christians", is a common surname in Pakistan and India among Christians.)

In November 2010, Asia Bibi was sentenced to death by hanging for "blasphemy"; the sentence has to be upheld in higher court before it can be executed.[50][51] Bibi was acquitted in 2018.

In August 2012, Rimsha Masih, a Christian girl, reportedly 11 or 14 years old, and an illiterate with mental disabilities was accused of blasphemy for burning pages from a book containing Quranic verses. The allegation came from a Muslim cleric who himself has subsequently been accused by the police of framing the girl. The girl, and later the cleric, were both arrested and released on bail.[52][53][54]

In July 2013 Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel, a Christian couple, were arrested and charged with blasphemy for allegedly sending a text message in English, that was considered offensive of Mohammed. Both members of the couple are illiterate and do not speak English. Sentenced to death, they remained on death row for eight years before their sentence was overturned. Unable to remain in Pakistan, for lack of safety, they were granted asylum in a European country.[55]

In 2018, Amoon, 42, and Qaiser Ayub, 45, both Christians, were convicted of blasphemy and given the death penalty. Authorities were alerted a blog in 2011 that violated the country's blasphemy laws. The blog, allegedly created by a Muslim man close to the brothers who argued with them over their sister, publicly displayed their contact information, and was used in their conviction, despite acknowledging that anyone could've created the blog and both brothers' denying their part in the blog's creation.[56][57] The courts upheld the verdict in sentence in 2022.

Forced conversions[edit]

Protest against forced conversion of Christian girls in Pakistan organised by NCJP

In October 2020, the Pakistani High Court upheld the validity of a forced marriage between 44-year-old Ali Azhar and 13-year-old Christian Arzoo Raja. Raja was abducted by Azhar, forcibly wed to Azhar and then forcibly converted to Islam by Azhar.[58] Human rights organizations estimate that upwards of 1,000 Christian, Hindu, and Sikh girls are abducted each year. A large portion of them are then forced to convert to Islam.[59]

Forced displacements[edit]

Since 2014, the Capital Development Authority (CDA), a public benefit corporation responsible for providing municipal services in Islamabad, has been targeting and demolishing illegal slums who are largely occupied by Christians in the city. The Supreme Court put on hold the demolitions and ordered from the CDA a written justification to it. The CDA's replied that "Most of these katchi abadies [slums] are under the occupation of the Christian community." "It seems this pace of occupation of land by Christian community may increase. Removal of katchi abadies is very urgent to provide [a] better environment to the citizen[s] of Islamabad and to protect the beauty of Islamabad ." Various human rights activists condemned the response.[6][60][61]

On November 9, 2020 Yasmin Masih and her son Usman Masih, both Christians, were murdered in Ahmad Nagar Chattha by Hussain Shakoor, a Muslim.[62]

In May 2021, Muslim nurses in Mental Government Hospital in Lahore occupied the Christian hospital chapel and raised Islamic slogans. Christian nurses, who use the chapel daily for prayer, pleaded for their protection.[63][64]

Muslim extremist violence against Christians[edit]

Christians in Pakistan report being targeted by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.[65][66][67]

On 9 August 2002 gunmen threw grenades into a chapel on the grounds of the Taxila Christian Hospital in northern Punjab, 24 kilometres (15 miles) west of Islamabad, killing four, including two nurses and a paramedic, and wounding 25 men and women.[68] On September 25, 2002, unidentified Muslim gunmen shot dead six people at a Christian charity in Karachi's central business district. They entered the third-floor offices of the Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ) and shot their victims in the head. All of the victims were Pakistani Christians. Karachi police chief Tariq Jamil said the victims had their hands tied and their mouths had been covered with tape.[69] On 25 December 2002, several days after an Islamic cleric called for Muslims to kill Christians, two burqa-clad Muslim gunmen tossed a grenade into a Presbyterian church during a Christian sermon in Chianwala in east Pakistan, killing three girls.[70]

After the Karachi killings, Shahbaz Bhatti, the head of the All Pakistan Minority Alliance, told BBC News Online, "We have become increasingly victimised since the launch of the US-led international War on Terror. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the international community to ensure that the government protects us."[71]

In November 2005, 3,000 militant Islamists attacked Christians in Sangla Hill in Pakistan and destroyed Roman Catholic, Salvation Army and United Presbyterian churches. The attack was over allegations of violation of blasphemy laws by a Pakistani Christian named Yousaf Masih. The attacks were condemned by some political parties in Pakistan.[72] However, Pakistani Christians have expressed disappointment that they have not received justice. Samson Dilawar, a parish priest in Sangla Hill, said the police have not committed to trial any of those arrested for committing the assaults, and the Pakistani government did not inform the Christian community that a judicial inquiry was underway by a local judge. He said that Muslim clerics still "make hateful speeches about Christians" and "continue insulting Christians and our faith".[73]

In February 2006, churches and Christian schools were targeted in protests over publication of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons in Denmark, leaving two elderly women injured and many homes and much property destroyed. Some of the mobs were stopped by police, but not all.[74] On June 5, 2006, a Pakistani Christian stonemason named Nasir Ashraf was working near Lahore when he drank water from a public facility using a glass chained to the facility. He was immediately assaulted by Muslims for "polluting the glass". A mob gathered and beat Ashraf, calling him a "Christian dog". Bystanders encouraged the beating, saying it was a "good" deed that would help the attackers get into heaven. Ashraf was hospitalized.[75] In August 2006, a church and Christian homes were attacked in a village outside of Lahore in a land dispute. Three Christians were seriously injured and one reported missing after about 35 Muslims burned buildings, desecrated Bibles and attacked Christians.[76] Based, in part, on such incidents, Pakistan was recommended by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in May 2006 to be designated as a "Country of Particular Concern" (CPC) by the Department of State.[76]

In July 2008, a mob stormed a Protestant church during a prayer service on the outskirts of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, denouncing the Christians as "infidels" and injuring several, including a pastor.[77]

The 2009 Gojra riots was a series of violent pogroms against Christian minorities by Muslims.[78] In June 2009, International Christian Concern reported the rape and killing of a Christian man in Pakistan, for refusing to convert to Islam.[79] In March 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti was killed by gunmen after he spoke out against Pakistan's blasphemy laws. The UK increased financial aid to the country, sparking criticism of British foreign secretary William Hague. Cardinal Keith O’Brien stated, "To increase aid to the Pakistan government when religious freedom is not upheld and those who speak up for religious freedom are gunned down is tantamount to an anti-Christian foreign policy."[80] The Catholic Church in Pakistan requested that Pope Benedict declare martyrdom of Shahbaz Bhatti.[81]

At least 20 people, including police officials, were wounded as 500 Muslim demonstrators attacked the Christian community in Gujranwala city on 29 April 2011, Minorities Concern of Pakistan has learnt.[82] During a press conference in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan, on 30 May 2011, Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi and other clerics of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam quoted “immoral Biblical stories” and demanded to ban the Bible. Maulana Farooqi said, “Our lawyers are preparing to ask the court to ban the book.”[83]

On 23 September 2012, a mob of protesters in Mardan, angry at the anti Islamic film Innocence of Muslims, reportedly "set on fire the church, St Paul's high school, a library, a computer laboratory and houses of four clergymen, including Bishop Peter Majeed." and went on to rough up Zeeshan Chand, the pastor's son.[84][85] On 12 October 2012, Ryan Stanton, a Christian boy of 16 went into hiding after being accused of blasphemy and after his home was ransacked by a crowd. Stanton stated that he had been framed because he had rebuffed pressures to convert to Islam.[53][86]

In March 2013, Muslims attacked a Christian neighbourhood in Lahore, where more than 100 houses were burned after a Christian was alleged to have made blasphemous remarks.[87] On 22 September 2013, 75 Christians were killed in a suicide attack at the historic All Saints Church in the old quarter of the regional capital, Peshawar.[88]

On 14 February 2014 Muslims stormed the Church building and attacked school property in Multan. They were led by Anwar Khushi, a Muslim gangster who struck a deal with the local people's spokesperson. They seized the Church property and displaced the people and deprived them of their building.

On 15 March 2015, two blasts took place at a Roman Catholic Church and a Christ Church during Sunday service at Youhanabad town of Lahore.[89] At least 15 people were killed and seventy were wounded in the attacks.[90][91]

On 27 March 2016, at least 70 were killed and over 340 wounded when a suicide bomber targeting Christians celebrating Easter attacked a playground in Lahore. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing.[35][92][93][94]

On 17 December 2017, a bomb killed nine and injured fifty-seven.[95] The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant took responsibility.[96]

Forced conversions of Christian children are known to occur, and if a child resists, they can be raped, beaten, or bullied.[97]

By province[edit]

Province Percentage of Christians (in 2017)[3] Population as per 1998 Census[37]
Flag of Balochistan.svg Balochistan 0.27% 31,200
Flag of FATA.svg Federally Administered Tribal Areas 0.06% 2,306
Flag of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.svg Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 0.15% 36,668
Flag of Punjab.svg Punjab 1.88% 1,699,843
Flag of Sindh.svg Sindh 0.85% 294,885
Proposed Flag of Islamabad Capital Territory.svg Islamabad Capital Territory 4.34% 32,738
Total 1.27% 2,092,902


The Taxila Cross, discovered in 1935 at Sirkap near Taxila, is said to be one of the Saint Thomas Christian crosses (Mar Thoma Sleeva) that corresponds in shape to the one in Mylapore; it has been placed at Lahore Cathedral.[13]
St Andrew Church Stained glass, Lahore

Missionaries accompanied colonizing forces from Portugal, France, and Great Britain. Jesuit missionaries sent from their Portuguese-held Goa built a Catholic church in Lahore, the first in Punjab, around 1597, two years after being granted permission by emperor Akbar, who had called them to his court in Fatehpur Sikri for religious discussions. This church was later demolished, perhaps during Aurangzeb times. Later on, 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, one of Pakistan's largest church, stands, and the churches in the city of Rawalpindi, where the British established a major military cantonment.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Karachi

The Europeans won[how?] 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 communities of converts to Christianity 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. There is a large Catholic Goan community in Karachi that 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 then the Catholic community of northwestern colonial India (now Pakistan).

Night view of St Mary's Cathedral & Bishop's House Multan

Notable Christians[edit]

Christians in Pakistani military services[edit]

The Christians in Pakistan have long been active in various fields of public service. Many Christians have served in the Pakistan Armed Forces, civilian services and other organizations. Some have received high civilian and military awards.

Pakistan Air Force[edit]

Pakistan Army[edit]

Pakistan Navy[edit]

Religious ministers[edit]

Civil services and police[edit]



Human rights defenders[edit]



  • Jack Britto, Olympic field hockey player.
  • Ian Fyfe, cricketer, coach and a sports journalist from Karachi.[111]
  • Jacob Harris, first class cricketer and sports coach from Karachi
  • Shazia Hidayat, track and field athlete. She was the only female athlete on the Pakistan team competing at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
  • John Permal, 1964-74 the fastest human in Pakistan.
  • Sidra Sadaf, woman cyclist who won a silver medal at the 11th South Asian Games in Dhaka, Bangladesh in January 2010.
  • Yousaf Youhana, first class Test Cricketer who used to openly use the sign of the cross before starting his innings. He was one of the most successful batsmen of the Pakistan Cricket Team. He later converted to Islam.


  • Cyril Almeida, journalist and an assistant editor for the daily newspaper Dawn.[112]
  • Kanwal Feroze, scholar, poet, writer and journalist.
  • Omer Shahid Hamid wrote the novel The Prisoner, which tells the story of a Christian police officer in Karachi.
  • Mohammed Hanif wrote the novel Our Lady of Alice Bhatti about a Christian nurse in Karachi.
  • Late Begum Bilquis Sheikh was an aristocratic Pakistani lady who converted from Islam to Christianity and wrote her famous memoirs about this.
  • Nabeel Qureshi a former Ahmadi who converted to Christianity, wrote three books. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity, Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward and No God BUT One: Allah or Jesus.


Candidates to sainthood[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Riazul Haq and Shahbaz Rana (27 May 2018). "Headcount finalised sans third-party audit". Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Why are Pakistan's Christians targeted?". BBC News. October 30, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Salient Features of Final Results: Census 2017" (PDF). Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-05-24. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  4. ^ "By Location". Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2013-02-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ a b "The Constitution of Pakistan, Notes for Part III, Chapter 3". Archived from the original on 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  6. ^ a b Ghani, Faras (14 Dec 2015). "Islamabad's Christian slums face demolition". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  7. ^ Telushkin, Shira (31 March 2018). "The Americanization of an Ancient Faith". The Atlantic. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  8. ^ Jacobsen, Douglas (21 March 2011). The World's Christians: Who they are, Where they are, and How they got there. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 112–. ISBN 978-1-4443-9729-1.
  9. ^ Coren, Michael (21 October 2014). Hatred. McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-2385-9. At [Pakistan's] inception in 1947, Pakistani Christians could be divided in three categories. a) Punjabi rural working class Anglicans, (b) Catholic urban middle class Goans in Karachi, and c) White Anglo-Indians who lived in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Quetta and this included both Irish Catholic and English Protestants.
  10. ^ ur-Rehman, Zia; Abi-Habib, Maria (4 May 2020). "Sewer Cleaners Wanted in Pakistan: Only Christians Need Apply". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
    In Pakistan, manual sewer cleaners are known as "sweepers".
  11. ^ Phan, Peter C. (2011). Christianities in Asia. John Wiley & Sons. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-4443-9260-9. For example, 90 to 95% of Pakistani Christians are Punjabi of the chura (dalit) group converted from Hinduism rather than from Islam or local religious systems.
  12. ^ Sara, Singha; Ariel, Glucklich (23 April 2015). "Dalit Christians and Caste Consciousness in Pakistan". Retrieved 22 September 2020. This study explores caste discrimination in Pakistan against untouchable (Dalit) converts to Christianity. During the nineteenth century in India, many Dalits converted to Christianity to escape caste persecution. In the 1870s in Punjab, a mass movement to Protestant Christianity flourished among the Dalit Chuhra caste. The Chuhras were the largest menial caste in Punjab and engaged in degrading occupations including sweeping and sanitation work. By the 1930s, almost the entire Chuhra caste converted to Protestant Christianity. In 1947, during the partition of India, the majority of Chuhra converts in Punjab became part of the Protestant community in Pakistan. After Partition, many uneducated Chuhras were confined to menial jobs in the sanitation industry. Today, the stigma of Dalit ancestry is a distinct feature of social discrimination against Chuhra Christians in Pakistan.
  13. ^ a b Kurikilamkatt, James (2005). First Voyage of the Apostle Thomas to India: Ancient Christianity in Bharuch and Taxila. ATF Press. p. 140. ISBN 978-1-925612-64-6.
  14. ^ a b Jose Kalapura, SJ (April 2020). "Centenary History of Patna Jesuit Mission". Patna Ganga Lahar. Jesuit Conference of South Asia: 9–10.
  15. ^ "Churches and Ministers: Home and Foreign Events". The New York Times. January 13, 1878.
  16. ^ An Heroic Bishop Chapter VI. His Fourth Pioneer Work: The Lahore Bishopric.
  17. ^ Beginnings in India By Eugene Stock, D.C.L., London: Central Board of Missions and SPCK, 1917.
  18. ^ "British Library". 2002-07-18. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  19. ^ a b c d e f Thomas, Abraham Vazhayil (1974). Christians in Secular India. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. pp. 106–110. ISBN 978-0-8386-1021-3.
  20. ^ Oddie, Geoffrey A. (2001). "Indian Christians and National Identity 1870-1947". The Journal of Religious History. 25 (3): 357, 361. doi:10.1111/1467-9809.00138.
  21. ^ Pinto, Ambrose (19 August 2017). "Christian Contribution to the Freedom Struggle". Mainstream. LV (35).
  22. ^ a b Webster, John C. B. (2018). A Social History of Christianity: North-west India since 1800. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-909757-9. In December 1921, the Punjabi-dominated meetings of the All India Conference of Indian Christians in Lahore was more cautious in their proposals but less cautious in the rationale they offered. They passed resolutions, first indicating that the Protestant missions 'should be completely merged in the Indian Church and that in future all Foreign Missionaries should be related to it', and then urging the missions in the meantime to 'appoint Indians of ability and character on an increasing scale'. Among their supporting arguments were that 'Indian Christians are not going to put up with colour and racial distinctions', that foreign missionaries could not solve the community's problems 'because of lack of sympathy', that the missions were too divided by denominational differences to bring about a united Indian Church, and that 'In these days Indians look up to Indians and do not pay much attention to foreigners.'
  23. ^ Black, Brian; Hyman, Gavin; Smith, Graham M. (2014). Confronting Secularism in Europe and India: Legitimacy and Disenchantment in Contemporary Times. A&C Black. pp. 88–91. ISBN 978-1-78093-607-9.
  24. ^ "Partition Affects Catholic Union Of India". Bangalore: Indian Daily Mail. 21 November 1947. A resolution that, in view of the partition of India into two separate Dominions and the result of the Catholic Associations of Sind and Baluchistan--the only associations, in Pakistan affiliated to the Catholic Union--to sever its connection with the Union, the jurisdiction and activities of the Union be confined to the Dominion of India and necessary amendments be made in the Constitution was passed at the Second Annual General Meeting of the Catholic Union of India held at St. Joseph's College Hall, Civil Area, last week. Mr Ruthnasamy, President of the Union was in the chair.
  25. ^ Anugrah Kumar (November 2016). "Pakistan Bans All 11 Christian TV Stations, Arrests Cable Operators in Crackdown". The Christian Post.
  26. ^ Official page of the Eastern Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
  27. ^ Eastern Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia
  28. ^ Taylor, Adam (2016-03-28). "An Easter Sunday suicide bombing shows plight of Pakistan's Christians". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  29. ^ Constable, Pamela (2015-03-20). "The dam of self-restraint bursts for Pakistan's Christians". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  30. ^ "Blasphemy Law in Pakistan".
  31. ^ Jones, Owen Bennett (2003). Pakistan: Eye of the Storm. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-300-10147-3.
  32. ^ "6 killed in Pakistan as Muslims burn Christian homes -". Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  33. ^ "Pakistan Christians die in unrest". BBC. 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  34. ^ "Two blasts at Lahore churches claim 15 lives". Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  35. ^ a b Hussain, Annie Gowen, Shaiq; Cunningham, Erin (2016-03-28). "Death toll in Pakistan bombing climbs past 70". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  36. ^ Dr Iftikhar H. Malik. "Religious Minorities in Pakistan" (PDF). Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  37. ^ a b "Population distribution by religion, 1998-Census" (PDF). Pakistan Statistical Year Book 2011. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. 2011. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  38. ^ Swensen, Jason. "Promise, potential define LDS Church in India, Pakistan". Archived from the original on 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  39. ^ "Religious Minorities in Pakistan By Dr Iftikhar H.Malik" (PDF). Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  40. ^ a b c d e f Aqeel, Asif (March 2, 2018). "Humiliated and betrayed Christians". Daily Times.
  41. ^ a b C. Christine Fair; Shaun Gregory (April 8, 2016). Pakistan in National and Regional Change: State and Society in Flux. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-92465-3.
  42. ^ Wilkinson, Isambard. "Where Christianity faces a fight to survive". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2006-06-02. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  43. ^ "The Constitution of Pakistan, Part III: Chapter 1: The President". Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  44. ^ "The Constitution of Pakistan, Part VII: Chapter 3A: Federal Shariat Court". Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  45. ^ "Pakistan's parliament blocks bill allowing non-Muslims to become country's PM, President". City: Delhi. The Hindu. TNN. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  46. ^ "Q&A: Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws". BBC News. 2 Sep 2012. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2012. Hundreds of Christians are among the accused - at least 12 of them were given the death sentence for blaspheming against the Prophet.
  47. ^ Guerin, Orla (6 December 2010). "Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi 'has price on her head'". BBC. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  48. ^ "Religious Intolerance In Pakistan". Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  49. ^ Gheddo, Piero (2013-02-14). "PAKISTAN Young Christian arrested for blasphemy - Asia News". Archived from the original on 2014-01-15. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  50. ^ Hussain, Waqar (11 November 2010). "Christian Woman Sentenced to Death". Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  51. ^ Crilly, Rob; Sahi, Aoun (9 November 2010). "Christian Woman sentenced to Death in Pakistan for blasphemy". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  52. ^ "Girl held in Pakistan, accused of burning Quran pages". 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  53. ^ a b "Teenager in Hiding After Blasphemy Accusation, Pakistani Police Say". The New York Times. October 13, 2012.
  54. ^ "Pakistani activists alarmed by threats to minorities". Deutsche Welle. 21 Aug 2012.
  55. ^ ACN (2022-05-06). "Pakistan: "I spent eight years on death row after being falsely accused of blasphemy"". ACN International. Retrieved 2022-11-17.
  56. ^ "Christian Brothers Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy – Conviction Upheld by Pakistani High Court". American Center for Law and Justice. Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  57. ^ News, Morning Star (2022-06-24). "Pakistani court upheld death sentence for Christian brothers despite 'shoddy investigation': lawyer". The Christian Post. Retrieved 2022-07-21. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  58. ^ "Pakistan high court upholds forced marriage of abducted Catholic minor". Catholic Herald. October 28, 2020.
  59. ^ "Abducted, shackled and forced to marry at 12". BBC News. March 10, 2021.
  60. ^ "Islamabad's Christian slum dwellers pray for Christmas miracle". The Express Tribune. Islamabad. 25 December 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  61. ^ Sandhu, Serina (14 December 2015). "Plans to demolish Christian-majority slums in Islamabad put on hold by Supreme Court". The Independent. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  62. ^ Ahmad, Imtiaz (November 10, 2020). "Christian mother, son killed in Pak over alleged blasphemous remarks". Hindustan Times.
  63. ^ Chaudhry, Kamran (May 6, 2021). "The clock is ticking for Pakistan's beleaguered Christian nurses - UCA News". UCANews.
  64. ^ Khokhar, Shafique (May 7, 2021). "Pakistan: false blasphemy charges against Christian nurses multiply". AsiaNews.
  65. ^ "After the Malala Yousafzai shooting, can shock therapy free Pakistan?". Archived from the original on 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  66. ^ "The Problem Of Pakistan". 4 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  67. ^ "Pakistan should be on the genocide watch list: US think tank". 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  68. ^ "Orders fresh probe into church attack SC rues poor investigation in sensitive cases | Newspaper". Dawn.Com. 2010-12-24. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  69. ^ "Six Killed in Anti-Christian Attack in Karachi". 2002-09-25. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  70. ^ "# girls died in attack on Christian church in Pakistan". Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  71. ^ "Gunmen 'execute' Pakistan Christians". 2002-09-25. Archived from the original on 2018-10-02. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  72. ^ "Asien, Pakistan: Sangla Hill attack continues to draw condemnation - missio". Archived from the original on February 15, 2006.
  73. ^ Gheddo, Piero (2013-02-14). "PAKISTAN Islamic extremists still unpunishedied 40 days after the Sangla Hill attack - Asia News". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  74. ^ "International Christian Response: Cartoon Protesters in Pakistan Target Christians". Archived from the original on August 23, 2006.
  75. ^ "Christian attacked for polluting". Archived from the original on 2006-10-21. Retrieved 2007-01-05.
  76. ^ a b Vu, Michelle (August 22, 2006). "Pakistan Church, Christian Homes Attacked in Land Dispute". The Christian Post. Archived from the original on September 1, 2006. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  77. ^ Mazhar, Jawad (July 15, 2008). "Muslim Mob Attack Protestant Church In Pakistan". BosNewsLife. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  78. ^ Waraich, Omar (August 5, 2009). "Pakistan: Who's Attacking the Christians?". Time. Archived from the original on August 8, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  79. ^ Nora Zimmett (June 13, 2009). "Christian Man Raped, Murdered for Refusing to Convert to Islam, Family Says". FOX News. Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  80. ^ Johnson, Simon (15 March 2011). "William Hague accused of 'anti-Christian' foreign policy". London. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  81. ^ Mughal, Aftab Alexander (17 April 2011). "Pope Benedict is urged to declare martyrdom of Shahbaz Bhatti". Spero News. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  82. ^ Mughal, Aftab Alexander (2 May 2011). "Pakistan: Christians left their homes after Muslim mob attacked them". Continental News. Archived from the original on April 7, 2022.
  83. ^ Mughal, Aftab Alexander (5 June 2011). "Christian leaders condemn the demand of Islamic party to ban the Bible in Pakistan". Continental News. Archived from the original on April 7, 2022.
  84. ^ "Fallout of film, Pak mob sets church ablaze, pastor's son injured in attack". 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  85. ^ "Anti-Islam film protests: Mob sets church on fire in Pakistan". 2012-09-23. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  86. ^ "Pakistan 'Blasphemy Boy' Ryan In Hiding". 2012-10-12. Archived from the original on 2012-11-24. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  87. ^ "Protesters burn Christian homes in Pakistan". France 24. 9 March 2013. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  88. ^ New York Times: "Suicide Attack at Christian Church in Pakistan Kills Dozens" by ISMAIL KHAN and SALMAN MASOOD 22 September 2013
  89. ^ "Two blasts at Lahore churches claim 15 lives - PAKISTAN -". 15 March 2015.
  90. ^ Agencies - Imran Gabol - Nadeem Haider - Waseem Riaz - Abbas Haider - Akbar Ali (15 March 2015). "15 killed in Taliban attack on Lahore churches".
  91. ^ "Worshippers killed in Pakistan church bombings".
  92. ^ "Suicide blast kills at least 72 in Lahore park". The Express Tribune. 27 March 2016.
  93. ^ "72 killed, over 300 injured in Lahore suicide blast". The News. 27 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  94. ^ Saifi, Sophia (2016-03-28). "Pakistan bombing: Taliban targets Christians, kills 69". CNN. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  95. ^ Shah, Dawn com | Syed Ali (December 17, 2017). "9 killed in suicide attack on Quetta's Bethel Memorial Methodist Church". DAWN.COM.
  96. ^ "ISIS claims responsibility for Quetta church blast". The Nation. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  97. ^ "Evil weeds poison good fruit in Pakistan - UCA News".
  98. ^ a b c d e f "PAF'S Gallant Christian Heroes Carry Quaid's Message". Archived from the original on 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  99. ^ Anglican Communion Office. "Member Church - Pakistan". Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  100. ^ "News Corp and Facebook have reached pay deals for news in Australia". The Frontier Post. March 16, 2021.
  101. ^ "Contact Us". NCC-Pakistan. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  102. ^ "Pakistan Civil Awards" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
  103. ^ Presidents Archived 2011-02-06 at the Wayback Machine KGA Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  104. ^ "Pakistani minister, a Christian, assassinated". Albuquerque Express. 3 March 2011. Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  105. ^ "Pakistan minorities minister shot dead in Islamabad - Times Of India". November 4, 2012. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012.
  106. ^ "How Sister Zeph's one-room school in Gujranwala became a global sensation". 26 May 2016.
  107. ^ "Honouring the distinguished: President approves national civil awards". The Express Tribune. August 13, 2013.
  108. ^ "Daily Times 24 March 2009". Archived from the original on 7 June 2011.
  109. ^ InpaperMagazine, From (October 16, 2011). "Educationist: With a heart of gold". DAWN.COM.
  110. ^ Bakhsh, Madeeha. "Burgeoning songster Nirmal Roy hits a home run with her exquisite Coke Studio debut". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  111. ^ Syed Osman Naeem - Development Technology Professionals. ":: The Old Patricians". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29.
  112. ^ D. P. Satish (11 October 2016). "Grounded Pakistani Journalist Cyril Almeida Has Goan Roots". News18. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  113. ^ Dharkan Fall 2006 Archived 2010-04-14 at the Wayback Machine
  114. ^ "SHELL PAKISTAN LIMITED-Year Ended 30-06-2006". Paktribune.
  115. ^ "Akash Bashir, Who Died Protecting Catholic Worshippers in Pakistan, Named a Servant of God". NCR. Retrieved 2022-06-01.

Works cited[edit]

  • Gabriel, Theodore (2021). Christian Citizens in an Islamic State: The Pakistan Experience. Taylor & Francis.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]