Church of Pakistan

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Church of Pakistan
OrientationUnited Protestant
PolityMixed polity with episcopal and presbyterian elements[1]
ModeratorAzad Marshall
AssociationsWorld Methodist Council,
Anglican Communion,
World Communion of Reformed Churches,[2]
Christian Conference of Asia
World Council of Churches
Origin1970; 54 years ago (1970)
Merger ofAnglicans (Church of India, Burma and Ceylon), Presbyterians (Church of Scotland), Lutherans, Methodists[3]
SeparationsChurch of Bangladesh (1974)

The Church of Pakistan is a united Protestant Church in Pakistan founded in 1970; it holds membership in the Anglican Communion, the World Communion of Reformed Churches,[5] and the World Methodist Council.[6]


It was established in 1970 with a union of Anglicans (Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon), Scottish Presbyterians (Church of Scotland), United Methodists, and Lutherans. It is the only united Protestant Church in South Asia which involves Lutherans.[7][3][6]

The church has two theological seminaries: the Gujranwala Theological Seminary and St. Thomas' Theological College, Karachi.

List of dioceses[edit]

The Diocese of Sialkot is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. Today, the whole Church of Pakistan is listed as a member on the WCRC website. The Sialkot Diocese has more than 40,400 members in 44 congregations and 28 house fellowships. It adheres to the Apostles Creed, Heidelberg Catechism, Westminster Shorter Catechism and Nicene Creed.[5]

Moderators of the Synod have included Zahir-Ud-Din Mirza, First Bishop of Faisalabad (1990–?).[8] Immediately after the 1970 union, the Church had four dioceses: Multan, Lahore, Sialkot; in 1980, four more were created: Hyderabad, Raiwind, Faisalabad, Peshawar. In 2013, there were eight diocesan bishops plus an area bishop for the Gulf ministries (especially among Urdu-speakers) — an appointment in cooperation with the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, and the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East[9][10]

Diocese of Raiwind[edit]

The church in Murree

Diocese of Raiwind is one of the 8 Dioceses of the Church of Pakistan and came into being in 1980, 10 years after the Church Union in which Anglicans, Scottish Presbyterian, Lutherans and the Methodist amalgamated to form the Church of Pakistan. Diocese of Raiwind within its Episcopal jurisdiction comprises the former United Methodist Mission areas and is predominantly rural and semi-urban. The central diocesan office is in Lahore. The Diocesan area stretches out from Warris Road, almost 65 miles South of Lahore. Diocese of Raiwind has more than 26,000 members in 38 congregations and six departments and 11 Schools. The main ministries of the Diocese are Pastoral Care, Village Schools, Sunday School Ministry, Peace Building, Hostel for poor children, Youth Empowerment, Women Empowerment, Special Education.

Relation with the Anglican realignment[edit]

The Church of Pakistan is a member of the Global South (Anglican) but not of GAFCON, despite the fact that some bishops already have expressed their support. Moderator and Primate Humphrey Peters, before being elected, attended the Anglican Church in North America meeting of the College of Bishops, in Orlando, Florida, at 6–10 January 2014.[11] Bishop Azad Marshall, of Raiwind, is the leading name of GAFCON in the province, and he attended G19, the additional conference for those who weren't able to attend GAFCON III the previous year, held in Dubai, on 25 February-1 March 2019.[12]

Archbishop Foley Beach, of the Anglican Church in North America, visited Pakistan in November 2019, where he met Moderator Humphrey Peters and Bishop Azad Marshall, of the Church of Pakistan. He also met Muslim scholars during his visit.[13] Marshall was elected Moderator Bishop of the Church of Pakistan in 2021, bringing his province closer to the Anglican realignment.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Benedetto, Darrell L. Guder, Donald K. McKim (3 November 1999). Historical Dictionary of the Reformed Churches. Scarecrow Press. p. 297. ISBN 978-0-8108-6629-4. The Church of Pakistan is the largest Protestant denomination in the country, incorporating the Scottish Presbyterian mission. The united church retains some aspects of Presbyterian polity.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Database (undated). "Member Churches" Archived 21 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. World Communion of Reformed Churches. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b Pakistan Affairs - Volumes 23-25. Information Division, Embassy of Pakistan. 1970. The new church has emerged following the unity of four Protestant churches in the country, viz, the Anglican Church, the Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church and the Church of Scotland.
  4. ^ a b "Church of Pakistan". World Council of Churches. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b Database (9 February 2006). "Sialkot Diocese of the Church of Pakistan". Reformed Online. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b Cracknell, Kenneth; White, Susan J. (5 May 2005). An Introduction to World Methodism. Cambridge University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-521-81849-0. The members of this congregation represent both national churches and subdivisions of those churches, as well as amalgamated ecclesial bodies within which Methodists are an integral part, such as the United Church of Canada, the Church of South India, and the Church of Pakistan.
  7. ^ Dalal, Roshen (18 April 2014). The Religions of India: A Concise Guide to Nine Major Faiths. Penguin Books Limited. p. 177. ISBN 9788184753967.
  8. ^ "Overseas Appointments". Church Times. No. 6633. 30 March 1990. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 22 July 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.
  9. ^ Marshall, Azad. "The Church of Pakistan (United)" (Ch. 29) in Ian S. Markham, J. Barney Hawkins, IV, Justyn Terry & Leslie Nuñez Steffensen (eds) Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion (p. 333)
  10. ^ "Provinces of the Anglican Communion".
  11. ^ Communiqué from the College of Bishops, January 2014, ACNA Official Website.
  12. ^ Standing with the Suffering, GAFCON Official Website, 1 April 2019
  13. ^ American archbishop lauds CoP for uniting church leaders, Pakistan Today, 20 November 2019
  14. ^ "Bishop Marshall unanimously elected as Church of Pakistan head". Pakistan Today. 15 May 2021. Retrieved 15 May 2021.