With the Blessings of Metropolitan Hilarion hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and ruling Bishop of Pakistan, St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission was established in 2011 in Pakistan and registered in 2014 under Societies Registration Act 1860, to work for religious, spiritual and social development of Orthodox Christians in Pakistan.
The Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan has spiritual and canonical union with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Fr.Joseph Farooq is the sole canonical priest of Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan.
Christians in Pakistan are the largest minority being about 3.7% of the total population. Since ancient times in undivided India, people were mainly Hindus and later many of them became Muslims after the Islamic conquests. The present Christians are converts form Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam.
The Orthodox Mission in Pakistan came into existence with hard labour of Fr.Joseph Farooq and his team; who read about Orthodoxy and began to search. The Holy Spirit moved their hearts and they started their communication with various Orthodox bodies. In the meanwhile they started to study and established a study centre for imparting Orthodox information and preaching Orthodoxy in his hometown of Sargodha in the province of Punjab.
In 2012, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with his blessings sent the Indian born Australian Russian Orthodox priest Rev. Adrian Augustus Rector of St. Michael the Archangel church in Black town to serve Pakistan under his spiritual direction. He was the first ROCOR missionary to Pakistan. Fr. Adrian was warmly welcomed at the venue and was welcomed by the people who patiently waited for him to hear about the “Orthodox Faith and Traditions”. Fr. Adrian preached and spoke about the Orthodox Faith and Traditions and History of Russian Orthodox Church in his two days stay in Sargodha Pakistan. People had traveled from far off villages and neighboring cities. Many peoples had arrived only to listen to the Fr. Adrian homily but they say they were truly inspired by the truth in Orthodoxy and the Russian Orthodox Church and after the homily, decided to receive Illumination.
A total of 174 people received Orthodox illumination and St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission was born. The converts were mostly Protestant and a former Roman Catholic priest Rev. Farooq Joseph who expressed his desire to serve as Orthodox priest.
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) Ordained Joseph Farooq as a priest of ROCOR Mission in Pakistan. The ordination took place in Colombo (Sri Lanka) from 11th January 2013 till 16th January 2013. Fr. Adrian Augustus Rector of St Michael the Archangel Church in Blacktown (Australia), Fr.Yurij Maximov of Moscow (Russia) and Reader Monk Philip (Philippines) witnessed the Ordination ceremony.
Socio-Political and Economic Situation of Christians:
As Pakistan is facing external and internal terrorism and its masses are suffering due to uncertain social and political circumstances. On the other hand it is an Islamic State where extremists are very powerful. Since the creation of Pakistan our community faced persecutions and there are many facts of religious bigotry and violence among the oppressed Christian minority in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan and law enforcement agencies are failed to control the extremists groups. Pakistan has dark history of intolerance, and its controversial blasphemy laws have often been used as a tool to persecute religious minorities to settle personal vendettas. Pakistan has witnessed in the past that the blasphemy allegations have led to mob violence against the persons and residential areas of Christians and they burn Holy Bibles and Churches.
As the Christians have to face religious discrimination, religious intolerance, oppression, social subjugation and economic deprivation. Therefore Christians are less privileged and backward.
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Funds are distributed from the ROCOR Fund For Assistance and directly distributed to the mission