Stories about Christian

Hallelujah Band: Spreading a message of hope in Pakistan

“A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together” – Margaret Atwood Given the unending discrimination which the Christians of Pakistan live with, certainly no words or actions can pacify or comfort them completely. The community lives under constant threat of  persecution, attacks or the blasphemy law, fearing that any day something might happen that will shatter their lives forever. Despite all this, the Christian community remains steadfast in its faith. Soon after the twin suicide attacks inside the All Saints Church of Peshawar, I relentlessly began looking for ...

Read Full Post

I am a Muslim who celebrates Christmas – and you should too

I plan to take my family out for dinner. I may call it a Christmas dinner and I don’t think there is anything wrong in calling it that. As Pakistanis, I think it is a great coincidence and blessing that today is also the birthday of our founder, Quaid-e-Azam, whose message wasn’t far off from what Jesus Christ taught us. Not only is there a religious connotation but a national association to this day for us to be united as one, spread the love and share the blessings with those less privileged. Before anyone takes objection to the term “Jesus Christ” please note ...

Read Full Post

This Ashura, I have a confession

My beloved Hussain, I write to you today on the anniversary of the day you died. Take it as what you will, I think of it more as a confession. Ever since I was very little, they told me to love you. To know you and understand you. To be like you. Probably one of the first things anyone ever told me was that your death on the 10th day of Muharram – Ashura as they said – was a tragedy that should only elicit heartache and sympathy. But before that, I knew nothing. As I child, I didn’t know who I ...

Read Full Post

I asked my Imam to condemn the Peshawar Church Blast, will you?

Like most people around me, I was shocked, disgusted and angry at the Peshawar Church Blast incident; a terrorist attack during Sunday Mass. The tragedy came at a time when people were reaching out to God, sharing  fears, worries, emotions and secrets. Just to imagine that one cannot even have this personal time with God Almighty anymore is disturbing.  The first thought that came to my mind was that a vigil should be held to pay respect to the departed. Hence I decided to initiate it. On Tuesday, a mere 40 people joined me outside the press club. We lit candles, ...

Read Full Post

They were just children. What did they do to deserve this?

The twin bombs that exploded on Sunday at All Saints Church, Peshawar, killed more than 90 people, injured nearly 150 others, and emotionally scarred thousands more. Investigations are under way while recovery and treatment has begun for the injured and their families. For some, healing will be swift while others may take small steps over months, maybe even years. Many more might never fully recover from this tragedy. The most heartbreaking of this and such tragedies is the number of young lives lost in these attacks. Since the blast took place on Sunday, the All Saints Church was packed to the ...

Read Full Post

Dear Imran Khan, where were you when my church was attacked?

Dear Khan Sahib, My name is Fouzia*. Other important facets of my identity are that I am a Christian school teacher, born in Peshawar and I incidentally happen to be a Pakistani. To a politician, the fact that I am Pakistani should be most the important, yet in a country ravaged by militancy, where religious extremists have usurped the limited secular space, my faith perhaps carries more weight and authenticity. After this brief introduction, Mr Imran Khan, I want to tell you my story, but I must warn you in the beginning that it is a tale of anguish and pain. ...

Read Full Post

Your cowardice will not deter me, I am Christian and I am Pakistani

The night before It was a beautiful night. We had all gathered to celebrate my cousin’s birthday in Kohati. The party went on till late night and at around 12:30 am, on my way back home, I marvelled at how peaceful Kohati bazaar looked. The city was sleeping, the shutters were down and with minimum traffic on the roads, the walk back home seemed so lovely knowing that the core of Peshawar city was so beautifully serene. Not even in my wildest dreams had I anticipated that the very next morning would smell like the blood and tears of hundreds. The mass murder It was a fine ...

Read Full Post

My Christian house help: Pakistan never wants its minorities to succeed

Pakistan’s fertility rate is likely to drop if women marry at an older age: that argument stands on its own considerable merit, because a young woman is likely to conceive more easily and often at this most fertile time of her life, but other factors also contribute to the high fertility rate. In Pakistan, children are not just a source of joy, but necessary pillars that support parents in the parents’ old age. This is true of all cultures, but it acquires an imperative urgency in societies like ours. Insaan Masih is a young man of no education but an innate sense of ...

Read Full Post

Happy-ending massage parlours: When filth comes to Karachi DHA

Massage is taken as a therapy to relieve stress and rejuvenate the mind and body after a day’s hectic routine. In our society a “maalishi” is considered a magician who can instantly relieve you of your knots and spasms. However, since the last five to six years we have witnessed a mushroom growth of salons offering different kinds of massages ranging from neck and shoulder to full body Thai massages. Besides the high end spas, a relatively recent entrant in this market, are “massage parlours” operating in certain commercial areas of DHA and Clifton. Out of curiosity, I did ...

Read Full Post

I do not, cannot and will not accept terrorism!

They say there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and lastly, acceptance. We witnessed, experienced and survived all five of these stages each time we gathered our courage to dig up mass graves for promising young individuals, devoted fathers, caring mothers and innocent children. Denial We’ve grieved at our loss as a nation, regardless of our belief. We’ve sat in our homes watching the news, denying that we live amongst people who’d do such things — who’d kill people with such brutality. We fail to accept the loss of our loved ones, the loss of hundreds of promising, capable, talented individuals who’ve been ...

Read Full Post