Orthodoxy in Islamic Pakistan
In spite of persecution and oppression the orthodox community of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad is working in Pakistan.
Our story is about these courageous Christians, our brothers and sisters.
It is no secret that modern people are proud of their tolerance. This is a Western disease, which has spread over Russia. The term “tolerance” is not used in the Islamic world. Moslems think that Islam is the only true religion and in the name of Allah you can kill infidels, burn them alive in furnaces, destroy Christian churches and icons, consecrate Christian relics, murder monks and priests. What seems barbarity and outrage to us, the Russians, is everyday routine in Pakistan. Human rights are practically not observed in this country. Nevertheless, even in those inhuman conditions of the lack of faith there are some devotees who bring the Gospel of Christ to people.
I’ve known Father Joseph Farukh, a 46 year old Pakistani, for several years. I learnt about him by chance when I was reading my Twitter newsfeed. We gradually became friends. We talked, organized financial help, sent parcels with Orthodox icons and other things for the needs of the Russian Orthodox Mission named after St. Rev. Sergius of Radonezh, which is headed by Father Joseph. The more I communicated with him, the more trust and affection I had to him.
God leads people with the help of such devotees who, not fearing death and privation, invocate them to True Faith. Such devotees were apostles. Such devotees were the first Christians. Such a devotee is Father Joseph. Each of us, Orthodox Christians, must be such a devotee.
The Russian Orthodox Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad is in a small town of Sargoda, 100 km from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. According to Russian standards this is a small community, several dozens of people, who are very friendly and have a sincere wish to live a Christian life. Father Joseph is married. He has a daughter, Mary, and a son with a Russian name Dimitry. One could only envy this priest’s faith and courage. He organized the orthodox community, practically alone, without any financial help of sponsors or church authorities. Services take place several times a week, including all main holy days, in an outland, desolate 50 sq.m. building. However, this church is always absolutely packed – there is not enough room to swing a cat… People come in advance, pray, make their confessions and take communion. After the service they organize various events in order to tell their fellow citizens about Orthodoxy and its verity.
It is a very friendly community. It helps local widows, who remained without bread-winners, and orphans, whose parents in some cases have been killed because of their faith. One quarter of Pakistanis are Christians, but they are treated like outcasts. They cannot get a well-paid job, they are paid less than the Moslems, they are refused medical treatment and are often treated unfairly in courts. Besides Father Joseph Farukh there is another Orthodox priest in Pakistan, Father John Taneer. He represents the Patriarch of Constantinople’s office.
Catholics constitute the majority of Christians in Pakistan, then come Protestants. It has always been so. Therefore it is even more gratifying that there are Orthodox Christians in this far away Southern country, where the temperature in summer rarely drops below 40° Ñ.
These people live in utter poverty. Besides that Pakistan is a developing third world country, the Christians, especially Orthodox Christians, as the smallest religion minority, live in inhuman conditions. Poverty, lack of medical help, hatred of their fellow citizens who often call them pigs and dogs make the life of Christians a heroic deed.
These people cannot leave; they are attached to their Motherland and love it, suffering for their Faith. The community “Orthodox Russia” is offering some help for these courageous people. Visit http://pravoslawnie.ru
Dear readers! Help these people if you can. Even a small donation will be appreciated. We address those whose hearts are not indifferent to the calamity of the others, to those who believe that Orthodoxy is the Truth.
Sberbank VISA card number: 4276 3800 7902 2344
Let’s help them! God bless those who will answer this request for help.
Peace to all of you.