ASIA/PAKISTAN – The Bishops urge the faithful to serve the country with devotion
ASIA/PAKISTAN: The Bishops exhort the faithful to give their all for the country.
Karachi (Agenzia Fides). “We must give thanks God for our beautiful nation; we, the Christian community, have greatly contributed to its development over these 75 years since Pakistan gained independence. Our Christian politicians, along with Muhammad Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan, have played a key role in the campaign for its founding. They wanted a country where all citizens enjoy equal rights and where they can freely express their faith. People of different faiths are called to collaborate for the development of the country and the improvement of the country.
Let us continue this service to Pakistan with enthusiasm, devotion, and without discrimination based upon race, caste and creed,” said Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM to Fides at the recent 75th anniversary Pakistan’s independance on 14 August 2022. This was in reference to the Day of Minorities, which was observed on August 11.
Msgr. Shaw also stated that Shaw is a supporter of the decision to create Pakistan alongside Muhammad Ali Jinnah. We Christians in Pakistan supported the decision to create Pakistan along with Muhammad Ali Jinnah. We must continue our mission of building a Pakistan that reflects his vision. A nation where people from all faiths can live and work together for the good of our homeland. “In a united India,” the Archbishop recalls that Muslims and Christians were considered minorities. But Jinnah’s vision states that religion should no longer be a private matter and people should work together to develop the country.
The 75th anniversary Pakistan’s independence was also celebrated at the country’s churches. Here, the faithful prayed to the government, armed forces, and for Pakistan’s well-being, prosperity, growth, and future.
Fides was informed by Archbishop Joseph Arshad, President of Pakistan Bishops’ Conference. He said: “We Christians in Pakistan are dedicated in the areas of education, health care, and social work. We want to continue this mission of The Church for the betterment of our beloved homeland.” Pakistan’s Independence Day reminds us of the sacrifices made by our ancestors to build Pakistan.
Archbishop Arshad said that “today” “our country is facing financial, social, and political challenges. Inflation has severely affected our lives. We are experiencing instability and unrest. People are losing their faith. In the face of all these difficulties, I appeal to political, religious, and social leaders and all citizens to unite for the benefit of our nation and the prosperity of our citizens.
Archbishop Benny Travas from Karachi recalls: “After Pakistan’s founding, the task was enormous. However, all people, including Christians got involved and played an important part in opening schools and universities, hospitals and outpatient clinics as well as rehabilitation centers. In Karachi, the archbishop stated, “Christians, even though they are a small group, have been an important catalyst for building this city.” Together, we must build a great Pakistan where all people can live in peace for the benefit of the country. The archbishop also mentioned the sacrifice of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic politician. He called on the faithful to be “ready for any sacrifice for our beloved homeland”.
After India’s partition, Pakistan gained independence on August 14, 1947. It was then under British control. Today, it is home to 22 millions people, of which 96% are Muslims, 1.6% Hindus, 1.5% Christians. According to church statistics, Pakistan had 1,348,950 Catholics in 2021. (AG/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 18/8/2022)