Christianity in Pakistan

THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY IN PAKISTAN

(Brief introduction provided by Father Joseph of the Archangel Michael Mission in Pakistan. Father Joseph is the priest at St Sergius Parish in Sargodhah)

Introduction

Contrary to popular thought, the history of Christianity in Pakistan does not start from the 19th Century but around 52AD upon the arrival of St Thomas the Apostle, making it’s origins back to the time of the foundation of the Church on earth.

According to Holy Tradition St. Thomas the apostle came to Pakistan in the city of Taxila a city 35 KM away from the Islamabad (the current capital of Pakistan).

Tradition states that St. Thomas the apostle came to Taxila as an architect, and was admired for his skills in this field. The local king was also impressed by his honesty and skills and requested the Apostle to oversee the construction of the palace. After giving all the responsibility and the expenses for the completion of the palace the King left for vacations.

St. Thomas had enough money to complete the work for the King, but when the king left he decided a different use for the money. Instead of building a palace for the king, he distributed all the money among the poor.

Returning from his vacation and not seeing any progress on the requested palace building works, St Thomas was summoned to the King. The Apostle informed the king what had been done with his money and that his palace had been built for him in heaven. St Thomas was then thrown in jail for a long period but was subsequently released and travelled to India to continue his mission work.

The Community of Faqirs in Pakistan

There is a “Faqir” community in the province of Sindh in Thatta. It is believed that this community traces it’s origin back to the times of St Thomas the Apostle and has therefore been present for almost 2000 years.

The Taxila Cross

According to the epigraphically evidence Taxila Cross was found in 1935 in the fields near the site of ancient of city of Sirkap. This cross was later presented to Anglican Bishop of Lahore. The Taxila Cross is kept at the Cathedral Church of the Resurrection Lahore (Anglican Church of Pakistan)

Taxila Cross

Conclusion

While many church historians talk about Christianity in Pakistan only from the arrival of foreigners from the 19th Century onwards there is clear evidence in the form of Taxila cross as well as the Holy Tradition of the Church that the faith was spread from the times of the Apostles. The ancient faith is now alive and well in many areas including those through the efforts of the Archangel Michael Mission in Pakistan.

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Funds are distributed from the ROCOR Fund For Assistance and directly distributed to the mission

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