n search

Thursday, June 18, 2015

History Of Orthodox Church in Pakistan,

History Of Orthodox Church in Pakistan
Pakistan was formed after undivided India gained
independence from the British in 1947.
Hinduism had been the main religion since ancient times
 and the Muslims felt threatened and isolated due to
 discrimination. Mohammed Ali Jinnah who was a leader
of the Muslim League along with
Sir Alama Iqbal dreamt of the state of Pakistan which
would be a safe haven for Muslims and where the Muslims could live with pride and 
self respect and practise their religion with no fear or discrimination. 
Qaid-e-Aazam (The leader) Mohammed Ali Jinnah who became the father of thenation
dreamt and formed a Pakistan free of religious discrimination where all religions
 could dwell in harmony and brotherly love. However in 1956 Pakistan adopted a
new constitution and hence became the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Today Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country in the world second to Indonesia.
It practises the Islamic Sharia law which includes laws of blasphemy
and laws against proselytizing. 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 and Islam.
They are 50% Catholics and 50% Protestant Christians. There has been
a considerable drop in Christians attending churches for various reasons.
St Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission
The Mission in Pakistan came into existence after great 
efforts of Cyril Amer Shahzad,
 a former seminarian, read about Orthodoxy and began
 his search.The Holy Spirit moved his heart and he 
started his communication with various Orthodox bodies.
 In the meanwhile he continued his home 
study and established a study centre for 
parting Orthodox information and preachingOrthodoxy in his hometown of Sargodha
 in the state of Punjab.
 His search led him to the Russian Orthodox Church
 and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Metropolitan
of New York and Eastern America and ruling
Archbishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, 
directed the Indian born Australian
 Russian Orthodox priest the Reverend Adrian Augustus 
Rector of St Michael the Archangel Church in Blacktown to serve Pakistan under his spiritual 
direction. With months of discussion and planning and after crossing many hurdles
 Fr. Adrian arrived in the city of Sargodha. There were a few altercations with the local 
police who feared for Fr Adrian,s safety in the area. Fr. Adrian was warmly welcomed 
in Sargodha and admired the turnout of the people as to how patiently they waited for over 
6 hours due to delays. Fr. Adrian preached and spoke for about
two and a half hours under the watchful eyes of the authorities.
 People had travelled from far off villages and neighbouring cities.
 Many people had arrived to listen to the Fr. Adrian's sermon. Inspired by the truth and 
beauty in Orthodoxy and the Russian Church they asked to be received into the Orthodox Church.
 A total of 174 people received were received into the
Russian Orthodox Church and St Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission was born. 
His Eminence Vladyka Hilarion was immensely pleased with the results
in Pakistan and maintained constant contact with Fr. Adrian. He formally
blessed the formation of the Mission under the canonical protection of the Australian and
New Zealand Diocese of ROCOR. Cyril Amer Shazad has been appointed Director in a lay capacity and
Fr Adrian Augustus as Spiritual Director. The mission now has two priests,
First Hierarch of the ROCOR ordained clergy for Pakistan in January 2013 in Sri Lanka,
 as Pakistani citizens were unable to travel to Australia due to extreme shortage of funds
 and visa issue. Fr Cyril and St Michael the Archangel Mission,
is tirelessly working all over Pakistan. various parishes under the umbrella of
 St Michael which namely are, 
St Sergious Orthodox Church, Sargodha, 

St Anthony Orthodox Church, Hyderabad, 
St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in Islamabad 
have community in Bhalwal city as well.
 Fr Cyril believes in passive evangelisation and example. 
He is working for the upliftment of poor Pakistanis especially 
Pakistani children, especially those who are involved in 
human trafficking. He hopes to rescue them, house them,
 teach them a trade and help them become responsible citizens of Pakistan 
The situation of Christians in Pakistan is one that is under constant threat due to
 discriminatory laws and the mission is involved in passive evangelization.
 The target is to build a school, which will include an orphanage and a chapel in 
Sargodha and Bhalwal, to pay salaries of the priests and help unfortunate 
Christians and also Muslims who live well below the poverty line in Pakistan. 
Through acts of Christian love and charity, we hope to house, 
educate and nurture the unfortunate children in Pakistan, 
especially those who are victims of Terrorism.