A newly built church in the city of Karachi that can seat as many as 5,000 worshipers tells the story of tolerance and flourishing of faith in Pakistan that often gets lost in the routine coverage of Islamist violence in this Muslim-majority country.
It took 11 months for the Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh Province, to complete the construction of Pakistan’s largest church, St. Peter’s, in Akhtar Colony. But there was no sign of opposition.
For the 2,100-square-foot building’s inauguration on Nov. 9, “the entire commercial lane shut down [voluntarily] for security,” reported Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper. Archbishop of Karachi Evarist Pinto arrived on a horse-drawn carriage for the opening ceremony, and thousands of people greeted him by throwing rose petals. more >>
KARACHI, Pakistan – An evangelist was shot dead here on Wednesday (Nov. 16) by an unidentified gunman in what his family believes was a radical Muslim group’s targeting of a Christian.
Zahid Jameel, 25, told Compass that his father, Jameel Saawan, and a helper were opening the doors of their cosmetics shop in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of Pakistan’s commercial hub of Karachi on Wednesday morning when a young man appeared and shot his father, first in the neck and then in the face.
The assassin fled on a motorcycle on which two people were waiting, keeping watch for him, Jameel said. more >>
The U.S. Government has a new weapon to fight terrorism: "Sesame Street."
According to The Associated Press, the U.S. is spending $20 million on a Pakistani version of "Sesame Street" that it hopes will fight Islamic radicalism by increasing tolerance.
"One of the key goals of the show in Pakistan is to increase tolerance toward groups like women and ethnic minorities," said Larry Dolan, who was the head education officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Pakistan until very recently. more >>
LAHORE, Pakistan – A Christian mother of five who was allegedly raped by two Muslims rejoiced after police in Pakistan’s Kasur district arrested a suspect and suspended an officer who had dismissed her complaints, but her solace was short-lived when her father collapsed and died Friday night (Sept. 30) after learning of her ordeal.
The 32-year-old woman and her husband, municipal worker Mushtaq Masih, told Compass by phone that they had lost hope of getting justice as they were facing threats from area Muslims to withdraw the case even as police were deliberately slow to investigate and arrest the accused.
Heartened after advocate pressure led to the arrest last week of one of the primary suspects in the case, the woman, whose name is withheld, went to visit her father late Friday night (Sept. 30). Up to that point she had not been able to bear informing her siblings and 70-year-old father, Gama Masih, about being raped on Sept. 15, but the family felt it was unwise to refrain further. more >>
The man who shot dead the governor of Punjab Province over his support for reform to blasphemy laws has been sentenced to death.
Mumtaz Qadri admitted killing Salman Taseer in January because of his support for changes to the controversial laws, which rights groups say are being misused to persecute Christians in the Muslim-majority country.
Qadri was Taseer’s personal bodyguard when he gunned down the minister near his home in Islamabad on January 4. more >>
A Christian teen was reportedly raped in Pakistan by three Muslim men while she was working, it emerged Tuesday and her case, according to an international advocacy group, is part of a troubling trend in which Muslim men use sexual assault as a weapon against Christian girls.
The International Christian Concern (ICC), an advocacy group, reported the event on their website Tuesday, after an investigation. Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho, told The Christian Post that one of the organization’s reporters talked to the young woman in person.
The incident took place on Sept. 16, ICC has established. The 18-year-old girl, whose name was not revealed for security reasons, was working alone on a Muslim farm in the Village of Muphat Pura, in Kasur district. At 5 p.m. local time, three relatives of her Muslim employer came to her and allegedly raped her. more >>