Christian History

Padree Rehmat Masih Waiz was born on May 1857 in Narowal District

Padree Rehmat Masih Waiz was born on May 1857 in Narowal District (now in Pakistan). By birth he was a Muslim and converted to Christianity through the influence and preaching of a Christian missionary, Pastor Roland Batman. On 11 May 1873 Rehmat, along with his father, elder brother and sister accepted Christ. It is claimed, by the people who knew him personally, that Waiz authored seven or eight books. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the names of these except for one,Rahat-e-Dil. This is a collection of Waiz's songs and poems. During hislifetime, the book became very popular among the local churches and several songs from it became favourites and were often sung during church services. Eventually, twelve editions of this book were published, the last one shortly before his death. Twenty-two of his songs were included in Sialkot Convention*Waiz was a dedicatedChristian. During his life, he was in contact with Sadhu Sundar Singh, Padre EhssanUllah and other prominent Christian scholars and preachers. His own ministry extended to various areas including Clarkabad, Montgomery and Chack 424. Rehmat Masih Waiz, having faithfully served his Lord through preaching, singing and writing, died on 10 Feb 1935 in Lahore, where he was laid to rest.

Court throws out 'blasphemy' charges against Pakistani girl Rimsha Masih

A PAKISTAN court has thrown out all charges against a Christian girl accused of blasphemy for allegedly burning pages of the Koran in a case that drew international condemnation.
Rimsha Masih, who could have faced life in prison if convicted of the charges, spent three weeks on remand in jail after being arrested on August 16.
She was released on bail in September but she and her family have been in hiding under government protection, fearful for their lives.
Although the decision to drop the case was welcomed, it is unlikely to pave the way for imminent reform of Pakistan's blasphemy legislation, which activists say is too often used to settle personal disputes.
The prosecution said it would appeal the decision in the Supreme Court.
Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan, where 97 per cent of the population are Muslims, and under the country's penal code insulting the Prophet Mohammed can be punished by death.
Even unproven allegations can provoke a violent public response.
In a 15-page judgement, Islamabad high court chief justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rahman threw out the case registered against Rimsha and urged Muslims to be "extraordinary careful" while levelling such allegations.
He said putting Rimsha on trial would have seen the courts "used as a tool for ulterior motive" and "to abuse the process of law".
Defence lawyer Tahir Naveed Chaudhry said that the family was "delighted" the case had been dropped, but said they "still live in fear".
Rimsha and her family were moved to an undisclosed location after her release on bail on September 8.
An official medical report classified her as "uneducated" and 14 years old, but with a mental age younger than her years. Others have said she is as young as 11 and suffers from Down's Syndrome.
Paul Bhatti, the only Christian member of Pakistan's federal cabinet, welcomed the "historic" move, saying justice had been done.
"It will send out a positive image of Pakistan in the international community that there is justice for all and that society has risen up for justice and tolerance," he told said.
He paid tribute to Muslim clerics, members of the media and civil society for also playing a "positive role" in highlighting the injustice done to Rimsha and said it would deter others from levelling false accusations.
There is a separate case against cleric Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, who was granted bail last month after being accused of allegedly desecrating the Koran and tampering with the evidence against Rimsha.
On August 24, Mr Chishti said he thought Rimsha burned the pages as part of a Christian "conspiracy" and demanded action against what he called their "anti-Islam activities" in the impoverished Mehrabad neighbourhood of Islamabad.
Pakistani political analyst Hasan Askari said the courts had acted fairly, but that Rimsha's fate remains uncertain because of the poor track record on how society treats people accused of blasphemy.
Neither did he expect any immediate prospect of legal reforms.
"The government does not have the capacity to withstand the pressure of these religious groups especially at a time when elections are very close," he said.
In 2011, Pakistani politicians Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti were assassinated for demanding that the blasphemy law be reformed.
And despite international outcry, Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, sentenced to death in November 2010 after women claimed she made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed remains in prison, pending an appeal process.

Islamists kill Christian family in Pakistan

Peshawar: October 3, 2010. (PCP) On pleading case of one poor Christian in remote city of Haripur in Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, extremist Muslims shot dead Christian lawyer and his family on September 28, 2010.

The Islamists have threatened Edwin Paul, an attorney and evangelist to leave the city within 24 hours unless to face consequences on taking case of loan to administration of Mehboob Masih who was under pressure from Muslim money lender to pay amount with compound interest.

The Islamists broke in home of Edwin Paul on night of September 27, 2010, and shot him dead , his wife Ruby Paul and five children in execution style.

Edwin Paul was living in Haripur from decades and practicing law as well as spreading Word of Lord in Hazara Division which was under hate by Muslim extremists.

Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan is bordering Afghanistan where Taliban have strong hold and Christians are under constant threat being infidels according to Taliban Islam.

The neighbors heard gunshots from home of Edwin Paul and saw some bearded men wearing Shalwar Kameez and turbans from their door holes but non dared to come out to rescue the Christian family. Even Haripur Police Station officials came to house of Edwin Paul in morning of September 28, 2010, and found all Christian family dead

By Pakistan Christian Post.

Christianity in Pakistan

Christianity is the largest religious minority in Pakistan. The total number of Christians in Pakistan is approximately 2,800,000 in 2008, or 1.6% of the population. Of these, approximately half are Roman Catholic and half Protestant.[1] Most Christians in Pakistan are descended from recent converts during British rule
In 1877, on St. Thomas' Day at Westminster AbbeyLondonRev Thomas Valpy French was appointed the first Anglican Bishop of Lahore, a largediocese which included all of the Punjab, then under British colonial rule, and remained so until 1887, during this period he also opened the Divinity College, Lahore in 1870.[2][3][4] Rev Thomas Patrick Hughes served as a Church Missionary Society missionary at Peshawar (1864–84), and became an oriental scholar, and compiled a 'Dictionary of Islam' (1885).[5]
Missionaries accompanied colonizing forces from PortugalFrance, and Great Britain. Christianity was mainly brought by the British rulers of India in the later 18th and 19th century. This is evidenced in cities established by the British, such as the port city of Karachi, where the majestic St. Patrick's Cathedral, Pakistan's largest church stands, and the churches in the city of Rawalpindi, where the British established a major military cantonment. All of the modern Christians in Pakistan are descended from converts from during British rule.
The Europeans won small numbers of converts to AnglicanismMethodism, the Lutheran Church and Catholicism from the native populations. Islam was very strong in the provinces of PunjabBalochistan and the North West Frontier Province, but small native communities of converts to Christianity were formed. The largest numbers came from resident officers of the British Army and the government. European and wealthy native Christians established colleges, churches, hospitals and schools in cities like Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. There is a large Catholic Goan community in Karachiwhich was established when Karachi's infrastructure was developed by the British before World War II, and the Irish (who were subjects of the British Empire and formed a large part of the British Army) were an important factor in the establishment of Pakistan's Catholic community.
When political independence was won by the people of the South Asia in 1947, the organization and activities of the Christian community changed drastically. Christians in Punjab and Sindh had been quite active post 1945 in their support for Muhammad Ali Jinnah's Muslim League. Even before the final phase of the movement, leading Indian Christians like Pothan Joseph had rendered valuable services as journalists and propagandists of the Muslim League. Jinnah had repeatedly promised all citizens of Pakistan complete equality of citizenship, but this promise was not kept by his successors. Pakistan became an Islamic Republic in 1956, making Islam the source of legislation and cornerstone of the national identity, while guaranteeing freedom of religion and equal citizenship to all citizens. In the mass population exchanges that occurred between Pakistan and India upon independence due to conflict between Muslims and followers of Indian religions, most Hindus and nearly all Sikhs fled the country, but the Christians remained.
Christians have made some contributions to the Pakistani national life. Pakistan's first non-Muslim and certainly most respected Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court was Justice A. R. Cornelius. Pakistani Christians also distinguished themselves as great fighter pilots in the Pakistan Air Force. Notable amongst them are Cecil Chaudhry, Peter O'Reilly and Mervyn L Middlecoat. Christians have also contributed as educationists, doctors, lawyers and businessmen. One of Pakistan's cricketerYousuf Youhana, was also Christian, but he recently willingly converted to Islam, taking upon the Islamic name Mohammad Yousuf. In Britain, the Bishop emeritus of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, is a Pakistani Christian.
Apart from the Catholics, Christians of other denominations re-organized themselves, in India, into the Churches of North and South India respectively, and as the Church of Pakistan in 1948. Politically, groups like the Pakistan Christian Congress have arisen. The New Apostolic Church also has followers in Pakistan.