Church of Pakistan
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|Church of Pakistan|
|Moderator||The Most Revd Samuel Robert Azariah|
World Council of Churches,
World Communion of Reformed Churches,
Christian Conference of Asia
|Merge of||Anglicans and other Protestants including Methodists, Presbyterians and Lutherans|
Establishment of the church
It was established in 1970 with a union of Anglicans, Scottish Presbyterians (Church of Scotland), United Methodists, and Lutherans. It is the only united church in the South Asia which involves the Lutheran Church. Though united, it is mainly Anglican in theology and outlook, since from the beginning Anglicans formed the bulk of the 800,000 strong membership and most of the important sees.
Persecution and Pakistan Minorities' Democratic Movement
Despite the presence of this official body, Christians in Pakistan have been the victims of significant persecution because of their religion on a local level in the 20th century. Its most internationally famous clergyman, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, formerly diocesan bishop of Raiwind in West Punjab, was given sanctuary by Robert Runcie, the then-Archbishop of Canterbury when his life was imperilled; he then taught at Oxford and served as Bishop of Rochester, England.
The churches in Pakistan show great leadership not only regarding religious and spiritual needs but also in the social and economic needs of the people. The social organizations like Harmony Foundation and others have always stood firm for the rights and issues of the religious minorities especially Christians in Pakistan. Pakistan Minorities' Democratic Movement, a human rights and advocacy organization, under the leadership of Atif Jamil Pagaan provide political platform to the minorities in the country. The church leadership and social leadership support the efforts of Pakistan Minorities' Democratic Movement and the visionary leadership of Atif Jamil Pagaan. Harmony Foundation and Pakistan Minorities' Democratic Movement are two very prominent organizations in Pakistan.
The Lahore Diocese is one of the largest Protestant Diocese in Pakistan with Churches across Punjab, Pakistan and runs over 31 educational institutions providing education for not only Christian students but Muslims as well. Rt. Rev. Bishop Irfan Jamil is the current Bishop of Lahore, Church of Pakistan. His predecessor is Bishop Emeritus Dr. Alexander John Malik.
List of dioceses
- Sialkot, a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. Today, the whole Church of Pakistan is listed on the members of the WCRC website. The Sialkot Diocese has more than 40,400 members in 45 congregations and 28 house fellowships. It adheres to the Apostles Creed, Heidelberg Catechism, Westminster Catechism and Nicene Creed.
- Linda Greene, World Methodist Council. Handbook of Information 2002-2006, Biltmore Press, Asheville (NC) 2002
- The Anglican Communion Official Website: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/tour/province.cfm?ID=P