Pakistan, July 29, 2015
With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside of Russia, Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan celebrated the establishment of the first ROCOR parish and proper worship space for the Orthodox faithful in Pakistan. They are thankful to the Lord Who is gracious and that the mission work is expanding with every passing day and the number of Orthodox faithful is also increasing day by day. The ROCOR parish in Pakistan is working under the kind protection of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand under the omophorion of and with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion.
July 26, 2015 was a very important and historical day for the Orthodox congregation in Pakistan. The inaugural ceremony of the ROCOR parish took place with the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion. In attendance on this auspicious day were all the Orthodox faithful from Sargodha and surrounding areas, as well as others who wish to embrace holy Orthodoxy.
The Orthodox youth and parish council played an active role in setting up the worship space and parish house in displaying the beautiful icons of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Most Holy Mother of God and various saints on the walls. With much honor and pleasure they hung the pictures of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion and a picture of the both of them in a meeting in Moscow. With these pictures the faithful say the parish office really feels the presence and blessings of the hierarchy in the Holy Russian Orthodox Church.
The faithful began arriving early to the parish house, filled with excitement and joy. The inaugural ceremony formally commenced with prayers, including for the good health and many years of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (the ruling Bishop of Pakistan). Fr. Joseph Farooq, in the presence of the congregation, cut the inaugural ribbon and joyfully invited all the faithful to the Sunday Divine Liturgy. After the Divine Liturgy Fr. Joseph preached on the history of Russian Orthodox Church and its presence in Pakistan.
Last but not least, Fr. Joseph humbly thanked His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion and the ROCOR Fund for Assistance which helped the Orthodox mission in Pakistan through its kind donors, so that today they are able to have a parish office and worship space in Sargodha. Although it is a rented place the parish is thankful to the Most Holy Mother of God and Blessed Father Sergius of Radonezh who internally strengthened them to set up the parish house for the congregation. It was a great day for the faithful who now have a sense of belonging in this place.
Previously there was no fixed space for pastoral activities and so Fr. Joseph reached out to the people to find a place for meetings and other activities. All the mission assets were safely kept in the houses of the faithful and are now gathered in the parish house and they have started keeping parish records.
In Pakistan there are many hardships and sufferings for Christians and the families are extremely poor and barely make both ends meet. Hence the parish does not have local income sources to fulfill its basic missionary and pastoral needs, but the ROCOR mission is going well under the protection of our Heavenly Father. May our Gracious God guide us and protect us and may the Most Holy Mother of God save us as through Her intercessions we are all saved!
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Pakistani mission has dedicated the year 2015 to buying land and building the first holy Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan as well as a school for Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christian Children. The faithful earnestly pray to God that He may provide kind and generous donors for the completion of this sacred project.
Mission: Saint Michael Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan.
Parish: St. Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church in Sargodha, Pakistan.
For queries about the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia in Pakistan, kindly contact: firstname.lastname@example.org