By Rashid Zia Cheema
Christianity is the second largest religious minority in Pakistan after Hinduism. The total number of Christians in Pakistan was estimated at 2.5 million in 2005, or 1.6% of the population. Of these, approximately half are Roman Catholic and half Protestant. Most Christians in Pakistan are descended from recent converts during British rule. For more details please see Wikipedia article Christianity in Pakistan.
In this post, photos of churches in Pakistan are shown.
For ease of locating a church in any city, the names of the cities have been listed in alphabetical order.
Abbottabad: St. Luke’s Church. This Anglican church was consecrated in 1864. Photo by tango 48.
Abbottabad: St. Peter Canisius Catholic Church, Abbottabad. It was built and consecrated in late 19th century.
Abbottabad: Saint Xavier Church, Thandiani, Abbottabad
Ayubia: Catholic Church, Ghora Dhaka, Khanispur, Ayubia. It was built in 1874.
Bannu: The Newly Constructed Church of the Holy Name. Photo by Shiraz Hassan.
Clarkabad: Christ Church, Clarkabad, Punjab. Clarkabad is located between Raiwind and Kot Radha Kishan.
Clarkabad: Map of Clarkabad, Punjab, Pakistan
Faisalabad: First Presbyterian Church. It is located on Railway Road Faisalabad and was built in 1902.
Faisalabad: Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. It is the main church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Faisalabad. The cathedral was designed by an Italian architect and built in 1965 by the Italian Dominicans who were then running the diocese.
Faisalabad: Holy Rosary Parish, Warispura, Faisalabad. Holy Rosary Parish is a church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Faisalabad, in Warispura, Faisalabad. It was established in May 1967.
Faisalabad: St. Albert’s Catholic Church, Julius Salik Town, Faisalabad. This Church, built in the poor neighborhood of Julius Salik Town (better known as J-Salik), in the parish of Holy Rosary in Faisalabad, Punjab. It was established on November 23, 2011.
Gojra: St. John’s Church, Gojra. It was established on November 18, 1913.
Gujranwala: St. Francis Xavier Church, Gujranwala
Gujranwala: A Church in Gujranwala, 1865
Gujrat: Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Gujrat. This church was built in 1938.
Hafizabad: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Hafizabad. Church Website: http://stfrancisofassisichurchhaf.org/index.html
Hyderabad: St. Philip’s Church
Islamabad: St. Thomas’ Church. Denomination: Church of Pakistan. The Church of Pakistan was established in 1970 as a union of Anglicans, Scottish Presbyterians (Church of Scotland), Methodists and Lutherans. It is a part of the Anglican Communion and is loosely affiliated with the Anglican Diocese of Manchester.
Red coloured brick structure was built in1980s. The style draws on surviving traditional Pakistani brickworking skills and local Moghul architecture.
Islamabad: Our Lady of Fatima Church. It is located at Kaghan Road, Street 55, F-8/4, Islamabad. On 12th October, 1979, this Church was consecrated by Bishop Simeon A. Pereira and dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima.
The church is dedicated to the miraculous appearance of the blessed Virgin Mary in a small village in Portugal. According to the legend, on the 13th of each month from May to October 1917, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three shepherd children in the fields outside the village of Aljustrel near Fatima, Portugal. Photo by Khalid Mahmood
Church Website: http://olofc.org/index.asp
Islamabad: The Bible Fellowship Church, Alama Iqbal Colony, Islamabad
Jhelum: St. John’s Church, Jhelum. St. John’s Church is located in Jhelum cantonment, beside the river Jhelum. After some eight years in the construction, it was consecrated in 1857 as an Anglican house of worship. It is a Protestant church, now under the Church of Pakistan.
The church was built to commemorate the British victory in the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (The Natives call it The War of Independence).
Jhelum: Marble Lectern at St. John’s Church, Jhelum. St. John’s Church was built to commemorate the British victory in the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (The Natives call it The War of Independence) and this church and the names on the lectern show that Jhelum was also a centre of resistance against the British Empire. 35 British soldiers of the 24th Regiment of Foot died in Jhelum on 7 July 1857. Photo by Khalid Mahmood.
Jhelum: Presbyterian Church, Jhelum
Jhelum: Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Jehulm. This church was built in 1949.
Karachi: St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi, situated on Shahrah-e-Iraq (Old Clarke Street), Karachi. A church was initially built on the grounds of this cathedral in 1845, and was called St. Patrick’s Church. In April 1881, the present-day cathedral, built in Gothic style, was opened to accommodate more worshippers. The little old church also continued to function until it was destroyed by a storm in 1885. For more details, read Wikipedia article Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Karachi.
In 1978 the cathedral celebrated its centenary. The Pakistan Post Office issued special commemorative stamps on the occasion. Pope John Paul I sent special greetings and blessings on the occasion.
In November 1991 the cathedral was visited by Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Photo by Karachi_St._Patricks_Cathedral.jpg: XalD.
Karachi: Stamps Issued in 1978 on Centenary of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Karachi
Karachi: Holy Trinity Cathedral. Holy Trinity Cathedral, is the seat of the Church of Pakistan, Diocese of Karachi, situated on Fatima Jinnah Road, Karachi. Built in 1855, its tall tower was also a light house as it was built with a purpose to facilitate the ships arriving at Karachi Harbour.
Karachi: Saint Andrew’s Church. St Andrew’s Church is located in Saddar, Karachi. It is known as the Scottish church. It was built in 1868 by a Scottish Mission. It merged with the Church of Pakistan in 1970 when Protestant Churches across the country united. Four denominations came together: Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran and Presbyterian (Scottish) from four Dioceses. The church building is built in Gothic style with arches.
Karachi: St. Joseph’s Convent School Chapel. It is located next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The chapel was built in 1901 in the premises of St. Joseph’s Convent School, with classrooms below. The roof of this new chapel was torn off six months later in a violent cyclone, which swept over Karachi. The roof was later rebuilt. For more details see: History of St. Joseph’s.
Karachi: Christ Church Drigh Road, Karachi. This church came into existence on 7th Sept 1935. Its Opening and Dedication Ceremony was held on 21st March 1937. Church Website: http://www.
Karachi: Our Lady of Fatima Church. This church is located between Reno Center (site of Reno Cinema) and Gul Plaza (site of old East India Tram Company) in a street off M. A. Jinnah Road, Karachi. On the 8th Sep, 1963, the Church was completed and dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima.It is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi. It is the only church located in Karachi which has a circular architectural design and built in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Second Vatican Council.
The church is dedicated to the miraculous appearance of the blessed Virgin Mary in a small village of Fatima in Portugal. According to the legend, The Blessed Virgin Mary, appeared to 3 shepherd children in 1917 in a village in Portugal. Photo by GlennRyall.
Karachi: St. Paul’s Church near the Lighthouse, Manora, Karachi
Karak: Church of the Holy Name, January 1913
Kharian: A Church at Kharian Cantonment, District Gujrat
Khipro: Church of Reconciliation, Khipro. This church is located in Khipro, a desert town in Sindh.
Khushab: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Josephabad, Khushab. This church was built in 1948.
Kohat: St. Augustine’s Church, Kohat in February 1916. Photo by emmyeustace.
Kohat: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Kohat. This church was built in 1949.
Lahore: Aerial View of Cathedral Church and School, The Mall, Lahore. Photo by Jawad Zakariya.
Lahore: St. Anthony’s Church, Lahore. St. Anthony’s Church is located at Lawrence Road, Lahore. It was built in 1899 and is one of the oldest churches in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lahore. Photo by jzakariya.
Lahore: St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. St. Andrew’s Church at Empress Road, Lahore was built in 1899, for the Christian employees of the Railways, in the Neo-Gothic style of architecture that was prevalent at the time. It is not far from the Lahore Railway Station and is also known as The Railway Church.
Mianwali: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Mariakhel, Mianwali. This church was built in 1949.
Multan: St. Mary’s Cathedral, Multan. It is located at Qasim Road, Multan Cantt. It is also known as Sister Mary’s Cathedral. Photo by Saad Sarfraz Sheikh.
Murree: Holy Trinity Church, The Mall, Murree. Holy Trinity Church was built in 1857. Until 1875, it was away from the then main market (Now called “Lower Bazaar”). But when the “Great Fire” burned down the market in 1875 a new Mall strip was built in its place in an area overlooked by the church grounds and parallel to the “Lower Bazaar”. Photo by Karrar Haidri.
Murree: View of Holy Trinity Church from Kashmir Point, Murree
Murree: Chapel at Saint Denys’ High School Murree
Murree: Catholic Church of Mother Mary Our Lady of Sorrows, Murree. It was built in 1917.
Nathia Gali: St. Matthew’s Church Nathia Gali. St. Matthew’s, a remnant from the British period and made entirely of wood. It was built in 1914. It is situated at the edge of the mountain with a nice panorama towards Kashmir. Photo by Saleem Shahid.
Nathia Gali: Foundation stone (26 Sep 1914) at St. Matthew’s Church, Nathia Gali. Photo by Kamran Paracha.
Nathia Gali: Designer’s Plaque at St. Matthew’s Church, Nathia Gali. Photo by Kamran Paracha.
Nathia Gali: Plaque for Furniture Donor at St. Matthew’s Church, Nathia Gali. Photo by Kamran Paracha.
Nawab Shah: Mariam Church, Nawab Shah
Nawab Shah: St. Francis Solanus’ Church, Nawab Shah. This photo which was taken in 1963 is on sale on ebay. Probably the name of this church at some point of time was changed to Mariam Church. If you compare the building of Mariam Church shown in the preceding photo with St. Francis Solanus’s Church, the both buildings are identical. Some visitor of this website from Nawab Shah is requested to further clear this doubt.
Nowshera Cantt: Holy Name Catholic Church, Nowshera Cantonment. This church was built in 1948.
Okara: Christ Church, Okara
Pasrur: Presbyterian Church, Pasrur, District Sialkot
Peshawar: St. John’s Cathedral
Peshawar: St. Johns Church Peshawar, 1878. Photograph of Peshawar, with a view across the cantonment towards St. John’s Church and the distant mountains of the Khyber Pass, taken in 1878 by John Burke.
Peshawar Cantt: St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Peshawar Cantt. St Michael’s Catholic Church is the oldest Catholic Church in Peshawar, Pakistan. It is located on The Mall. It was consecrated in 1851. It is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi. In the days of the Empire, British Catholic soldiers, armed with rifles, would parade to church, led by a Drum Major wielding his baton, with two bagpipers and two or four kettle drummers. After Mass, the soldiers would march back to their barracks. The church had special pews with arrangements for holding weapons.
Peshawar: St. John Mary Vianney’s Catholic Church, Peshawar. St. John Vianney’s Church is an old Catholic church on City Circular Road, Peshawar. It was built in 1937. It is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi. It should not be confused with St. John’s Protestant Church, Peshawar, which was constructed between 1851 and 1860.
Peshawar: All Saints’ Church. It is located inside the Kohati Gate of the old walled city of Peshawar is an architecturally unique place of worship that bears a striking resemblance to a mosque with minarets and a dome.
The Church was opened on St. John’s Day, 27 December 1883. A plaque on a wall records: “This church is erected to the Glory of God and dedicated to the memory of All Saints in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 1883.”
Quetta: Bethel Memorial Methodist Church, Quetta
Quetta: St. Michaels Church, Quetta
Quetta: St. Mary’s Church Quetta in winter 1939-40. Photo was taken in the exceptionally harsh winter of 1939-40. Photo by Derek Boddington. St. Mary’s Church was built around 1900 and survived the 1935 brutal earthquake which destroyed more than half of the city.
Quetta: St. Lukes Church, Quetta, 1910
Quetta: St. Mary’s Church, 1900
Quetta: The Roman Catholic Church, 1900
Rawalpindi: Saint Paul’s Church, The Mall Road, Rawalpindi. Saint Paul’s Church is located in front of Army Hockey Stadium in a corner at the intersection of Mall Road and Murree Road. This elegant building was built in 1908 during British Raj era. Due to its pink colour, on can’t miss it while passing through the Mall.
Rawalpindi: Plaque at Saint Paul’s Church, The Mall Road, Rawalpindi. St. Paul’s Church is located in front of Army Hockey Stadium in a corner at the intersection of Mall Road and Murree Road. This elegant building was built in 1908 during British Raj. Photo by franek2.
Rawalpindi: Christ Church, Lalkurti, Rawalpindi. It is located in Lal Kurti in cantonment area on Iftikhar Janjua Road beside Pearl Continental Hotel. It was built in 1852 in the Gothic style. Photo by Yasir Awan.
Rawalpindi: St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Lalkurti, Rawalpindi Cantt. Established in 1887.
Rawalpindi: St. Mary’s Church, Rawalpindi. Established in 1882. Photo by zkbk86.
Rawalpindi: Sacred Heart Church, Westridge, Rawalpindi. It was built in 1885. Islamabad Rawalpindi Diocese Pakistan.
Rawalpindi: Rare Photo of Sacred Heart Church, Westridge, Rawalpindi in 1906
Rawalpindi: Holy Family Catholic Church, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Murree Road, Rawalpindi. It was built in 1927.
Sargodha: Divine Mercy Catholic Church Sargodha. A New parish is created in Islamabad- Rawalpindi Diocese.
Sargodha: St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. It is located at University Road, Sargodha. It was built in 1910. Islamabad – Rawalpindi Diocese.
Sialkot: The Holy Trinity Cathedral Church (Sialkot Cathedral). This church is located on The Mall (Quaid-e-Azam Road) in Sialkot Cantonment . Its first stone was laid on March 1, 1852. The church was consecrated by the Bishop of Madras on January 30, 1857, Sialkot at the time being in the Diocese of Calcutta. Photo by Irfan Mirza.
Sialkot: St. James Catholic Church, Sialkot. Photo by by Vladimir Stimac Mara…
Sialkot: Church in Murray College, Sialkot
Sialkot: Jubilee Church. Built in 1922. Photo by’ Pakistani in Odense’.
Sukkur: Saint Mary’s Catholic Church . St. Mary’s Church was built in early 1850s. In February 2006, a mob destroyed the church and was rebuilt and opened in 2009. This photo was taken in 1992. Photo by Francis Hannaway.
Wah Cantt: St. Thomas Catholic Church, Wah Cantt. This church was built in 1951.
Editor’s Note: In the subsequent part of this Post, some rare photos have been included, though not of churches, but which may be of interest to the Christian community in Pakistan.
Pope John Paul II in Karachi, 1981. Pope John Paul II is greeted by President Zia-ul-Haq in Karachi 16 February 1981. This was Pope’s first ever visit of Pakistan.
Pope John Paul II in Karachi, 1981. Pope John Paul II with President Zia-ul-Haq in Karachi 16 February 1981.
Front page of The Muslim about visit of Pope John Paul II to Pakistan, 1981. This is the front page of the (now defunct) Pakistani English daily, The Muslim, edition of 17 February 1981. It has a photo and story on the Pope’s first ever visit of Pakistan on 16 February 1981. The Pope also addressed mass at Karachi’s National Stadium.
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