Stories about christianity

Who is Pakistan’s Luther?

There are only two possible outcomes in a theocracy: 1) Peaceful co-existence 2) Tyranny The current situation of the authorities in Pakistan are a testimony to what becomes of a theocracy unsure of itself. One needs to look at history to see just how much man does not learn from his own past. Whether one likes it or not, Christianity and Islam are one and the same when it comes to their historical successes – and mistakes. Allow me to elaborate. For a few years after the death of Jesus Christ, there were no written accounts by any of the apostles, just orally memorised accounts ...

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A question of religion

A furore was recently raised in the United Kingdom (UK) over the voluntary religion question in the 2011 census. Humanists and secularists attacked it for being ‘fatally flawed’ because the information, according to them, can be used to influence public policy and services. For anyone living in Pakistan the outcry might seem a smidgen over the top, given the country’s strident penchant for religiously determined identity systems. Here almost every conceivable form or questionnaire comes replete with a doctrinal question. For example, anyone wanting a passport has to first declare their faith of preference. Need an ID card? Then identify yourself ...

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Let’s be hopeful this Easter

Every Sunday I see a police van parked outside the church’s main gate. On special events, the authorities have to ensure the security guards are vigilant before we begin the mass. The scouts take care of the vehicles outside (although once my hand bag and other valuables were stolen from my car while we were praying at the church). At the entrance, a metal detector is installed and every person is subjected to frisking and manual checking in case of suspicion. We have to finish the mass early so we can reach home safely, avoiding any kinds of mishaps. Churches ...

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Hijab, Santa and the Christmas spirit

Earlier this month my class mates and I were given an assignment on interfaith awareness between Muslims and Christians. Over the past decade the two communities have not had very warm relations especially since after 9/11. My friends and I felt nervous about this task as we had never interacted with a member of the Christian faith before. We were oblivious to what their traditions were and how they would react to us. I was particularly panicky because I wear a veil and hijaab. Will they even talk to me, I wondered. Our project required that we take photographs of ...

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Where did the blasphemy law come from?

According to Islamic belief, blasphemy is considered the use of profanity or a show of disrespect towards religious beliefs and holy personages, but unlike Judaism and Christianity, no strict punishment for the crime has been proscribed. In fact, Allah takes it upon Himself to deal with those who “revile Allah in their ignorance”. Quran’s Surah Al-Anam aayah 108 says: “Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord and We ...

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9/11: The day that changed our world

“The real hell of life is that everyone has his reasons.”   – Jean Renoir Like many others, I remember September 11, 2001 quite vividly -the day the world changed. It was an ordinary day like any other while we were blissfully unaware of what was about to happen. Flipping through the channels in the evening, I saw a woman crying on CNN in a way that made me pause and concentrate. Then I watched the unbelievable, seemingly unreal, video footage of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers. Back then, I did not know much about the United States of America ...

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