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» 10/29/2009
PAKISTAN
The Catholic Church in Pakistan (An overview)
Catholics are less than 1% of a total of over 160 million inhabitants. There are two archdiocese in the country, four dioceses and an apostolic prefecture. A small minority but active and appreciated for efforts in education, helping the poor, health care and emergency interventions.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Pakistan has just over 160 million inhabitants and is the second largest Muslim country in the world, after Indonesia. About 95% of the population professes Islam, with 75% Sunni, and 20% Shiite, Christians are approximately 2% of the total (less than 1% Catholic), 1.8% are Hindus, the remaining 1.2% profess other religions, including Sikhs, Parsis, Ahmadis, Buddhists, Jews, bah'ai and animists.

The largest Catholic presence is in the diocese of Lahore, in Punjab, with 390 thousand faithful out of a total of 26 million people; 26 parishes. Following this, the diocese of Faisalabad, with 189 thousand faithful out of about 33 million people, distributed in 28 parishes. Third in the diocese of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, with 174 thousand faithful out of 32 million inhabitants for a total of 19 parishes. Then Karachi, with 145 thousand faithful and 15 parishes out of a total population of  15 million people. Pakistan has two archdiocese, four dioceses and one apostolic prefecture, all of the Latin rite.

In this country there are many Christian schools, institutes and hospitals, that are considered prestigious and are appreciated by local authorities for the quality of the work they carry out in favour of the local populations, regardless of their faith. However, religious freedom, as in other Muslim-majority nations, is not guaranteed and cases of harassment, death threats and assassinations are a constant companion.

The activities of the Church of Pakistan cover various sectors including: education and formation, aid to the poor (one third of the population is at risk from hunger), projects to support agriculture, health care and interventions in cases of emergency or natural disaster. Among the numerous works carried out by Caritas Pakistan, along with Christian-based NGOs of mention is their assistance to victims of the earthquake that struck the country in 2005, killing 75 thousand people and making at least 3.5 million homeless. The organization relies on the collaboration of 500 people and voluntary work of about a thousand volunteers, to assist approximately 500 thousand people across the nation.


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See also
10/29/2009 PAKISTAN
Save Christians and Pakistan from the blasphemy law
by Dario Salvi
02/27/2010 PAKISTAN
Karachi, a Christian sentenced to life imprisonment for blasphemy
by Fareed Khan
09/18/2009 PAKISTAN
Governor of Punjab; the law on blasphemy should be abolished
by Fareed Khan
06/20/2013 PAKISTAN
Christian minister in Islamabad: Economics and minority rights, here are my challenges
by Jibran Khan
11/03/2004 PAKISTAN
Blasphemy law: death threats against teenage girl forces family to flee
PAKISTAN – ITALY
Europe and West should help Pakistan repeal blasphemy legislation
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Pakistan, the only country in the world with a blasphemy law
PAKISTAN
Blasphemy laws and religious discrimination, an attack on Pakistan’s future
PAKISTAN - EU
Blasphemy in Pakistan and the European Court’s attack on the crucifix
PAKISTAN
Islamabad asks for "suggestions" from Christians to repeal blasphemy law
PAKISTAN
Blasphemy legislation strikes minorities and Islamises the country, Pakistan priest says
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News massacre by extremists as opposition to ‘Islamisation” grows
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Save Christians and Pakistan from the blasphemy law
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Pakistani Christians, from freedom to persecution
PAKISTAN
What can be done to abolish Pakistan’s blasphemy laws
PAKISTAN
Blasphemy law: a long list of injustices (An overview)

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
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Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
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