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Roman Catholic Church in Pakistan

Roman Catholic Church in Pakistan

In Pakistan there are over 1 million Catholics, which characterize less than 1% of the entire population. Almost 7 ecclesiastical units are there in Pakistan which consists of 4 bishopric, 2 archdioceses and about one Apostolic Vicariate. The Roman Catholic Church in Pakistan is also the part of Roman Catholic Church, which is led by the Pope and curia in Rome. 0n 16th February Pope John Paul II visited Pakistan. These churches are also running educational institutes in Pakistan as they have launched Saint Patrick’s High School in Karachi and they are also dealing with health and other social aspects of every day life besides their spiritual work.


According to 2008 statics these Catholic Church runs near about 534 schools, 8 colleges, 8 catechetical centers, 53 hostels and 7 technical institutes. The first Pakistani Cardinal was Joseph Cordeiro, he was an Archbishop of Karachi and on 5th March 1973 he was elevated to the position by Pope Paul VI. On 30 December, the President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaff was received by Pope John Paul II in a private audience in a vacation. In 2008, Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic became the federal for minorities and this happened for the first time in the history of Pakistan. On 19th June 2008, Pope Benedict XVI met the Roman Catholic bishops of Pakistan.

In the intervening time the Church continued to be victimized. In April 2009, in Karachi a group of Christians in Taiser Town were attacked by armed men. Almost six Christian’s houses were affected and three Christians were wounded including an 11 year old boy. In 2009, Pakistan is the only country in the globe with a “blasphemy law“. According to the constitution a non-Muslim cannot become a president, prime minister or any of the 11 senior most government positions in the country.


An anxiety was occurred in Korian the village of Christians on 30th July 2009 when some pages were found in front of Christian home containing Islamic inscriptions. Then a family was accused by Muslims for blasphemy against Islam. On 1 August 2009, a Muslim gang attacked a Christian resolution in Gojra smashing up and pillaging houses and causing the demise of eight people and injured many of them. Almost fifty homes of the Christians were destroyed.

Pope Benedict XVI has articulated intense grief at current anti-Christian insurgence in Pakistan and requested to all and sundry to relinquish violence and take up again the path of peace.  This message was communicated by him through a telegram to Faisalabad Bishop Joseph Coutts. Unfortunately, on 28th March 2011 St.Thomas Church in Wah Cantt was also attacked by a group of armed men, which resulted in severe damages. It is alleged that the confrontation was correlated to the recent episode of the blazing of the Quran by Pastor Terry Jones in the U.S.


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