Stories about christianity

Don’t Christians in Pakistan deserve a church?

This Good Friday, on April 18, 2014, I met a wonderful Christian housewife named Seema, in Lassori. Christians make up 1.6% of Pakistan’s population, and have been serving in every profession. Seema explained that for the last 60 years, 58 Christians have been working as farm labourers in Lassori Tobatake Singh. She and her husband, Allah Ditta, work in the fields and own two goats and a cow. She explained that the entire street comprised of 40 houses on each side and that all the residents present were Christians. Her parents had migrated during the British colonial rule, when the latter allotted ...

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An old Christian lady and a suicide bomber…

“You have to make sure you press this little red button twice near your left pocket, not more than three feet away from the target. You know how much three feet is, don’t you?” This last point of the instructions came out of the so-called engineer’s mouth for the fourth time, along with bad breath and an unpleasant smell that emanated from his clothes which had specks of gun powder in several places. The boys didn’t know his real name but his reputation as ‘engineer’ was rock solid among the other members of the secret cell. No one ever questioned the logic of ...

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I left the US because of their hatred towards Muslims… this is my story

I was born in 1982, in the beautiful American city of San Jose, California. A proud patriotic Muslim American, my dad would decorate our house with lights every Fourth of July. Fast forward to the year 2001, when I got admitted to one of America’s top medical schools – the Harvard Medical School in Boston. Moving from San Jose was hard. I stayed in the dorm. Every morning, when I went to take a shower, I saw a sticker on one of the bathroom mirrors on my floor that said, ‘Whoever is a friend of the Muslims is a traitor of Christianity and ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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This Eid I just want Santa Claus!

Eid Mubarak everyone! I am sure all of you are enjoying the day today – eating scrumptious food, wearing gorgeous new clothes, visiting your family and friends and then, obviously, eagerly awaiting your Eidi. What fun. After all, this is what Eid is all about. Unfortunately, not all of us will be celebrating Eid the traditional way. There was a time, a few years ago, when shops on Chaand Raat would be bustling with men and women frantically getting their last minute Eid errands completed. Every store had a bigger, brighter sign exclaiming it was giving a better discount than ...

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Reza Aslan’s interview: What does Fox News have against Islam?

Lauren Green, Fox News correspondent on religious affairs and host of ‘Spirited Debates’, recently upheld Fox News’s impeccable record on focused bigotry and American essentialism, during an interview with the noted academic, Reza Aslan. The talk focused on his new book called Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Normally, any host might have started the interview by asking the author about his/her book and what subjects it deals with, but apparently Lauren Green had a different idea of how an interview should be conducted. Here’s how the interview started: Lauren Green: “You’re a Muslim, so why did you ...

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Our Lady of Fatima Parish: A wonderful church hidden in Karachi

Over the years, Karachi has become more of a commercial pothole. Buildings are constructed in the most unexpected yet absurd places, while dhaabas (tea shops) and hotels sprout like shrubs in every nook and corner of the city. It has become congested and overwhelming.   It is due to this hotchpotch that many citizens remain unaware of the great architectural brilliance that lies hidden deep inside the city. One such building that is overlooked is a church called Our Lady of Fatima. This beautiful structure lies sandwiched between Anklesaria Hospital (near the Garden area) and the infamous Gul Plaza shopping mall. The ...

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In India, you are free to go to your mosques and temples

India, like most developing countries, has a host of problems ranging from corruption and poverty to female foeticide. Fortunately though, religious intolerance is not on this list of issues that ail India. While there’s no denying the fact that India has, in the past, witnessed incidents of religious rioting, it still remains a country that is home to people of various faiths whose lives remain inextricably intertwined with each other – as classmates at university, colleagues at the workplace and as neighbours living in close proximity to each other. (A mosque next to a Church in India) I’ve written a blog about Diwali/Hinduism ...

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Burma killings: Keep religion out of it!

If you’re active on Facebook or Twitter, you’re sure to have witnessed the ongoing outrage of a number of people over the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma at the hands of the Rakhine Buddhists. Agreed, our country is not exactly one to be proud of when it comes to basic human rights, but expressing our concern over wrongdoings, whenever they happen, isn’t hypocrisy, it is our right. However, those in the social sphere – who, in the availability of an internet connection – believe they have been blessed with knowledge of the world are always ready to share ...

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