His path is not an easy one—poverty, discrimination against all Christians in a rigidly Moslem society, and isolation from other Orthodox countries are some of the challenges he faces continually in his endeavors to bring his people to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. But the humility and zeal of his flock inspires him to carry on with the great commission in Pakistan.
With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan and the parishioners of Saint Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan on November 01, 2015, celebrated the feast of our righteous father John of Kronstadt.
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.
Despite of the scorching temperature, the people participated in the solemn celebration with real devotion for St. Seraphim of Sarov. Their faces were glowing as the dazzling Light of the Risen Lord has touched their hearts.
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week. On April 05, 2015, with the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, the parishioners of St. Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan started the Holy Week with the solemn celebrations of Palm Sunday.
For the first time St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan has distributed Christmas gifts and warm clothes among the orthodox children and ration among the poor orthodox women. Here I am also thankful to the Heavenly Father that almost 250 Orthodox faithful and about 60 Catechumens attend the festive Divine Liturgy and received the special blessings of the day.
It was a large gathering—almost 110 orthodox faithful and forty Catechumens joyfully participated in the celebration. This day is much blessed and honored by the orthodox faithful in Pakistan because the ROCOR Mission was named, “St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan.”
With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan celebrated the 700th Anniversary of St. Sergius of Radonezh on August 18, 2014 at the St. Sergius Orthodox Church in Sargodha Pakistan with full zeal and zest.
Pakistan has a dark history of intolerance, and its controversial blasphemy laws have often been used as a tool to persecute religious minorities, particularly Christians to settle personal vendettas.
The law enforcement agencies increased security around the churches after the suicide blast in Peshawar on 22 September 2013, therefore the Christmas celebrations were held under tight security due to threats by Taliban. Christians in Pakistan are brave and come on the feasts in the church singing joyfully with complete faith in Lord Jesus Christ.
My study and weekly visit to “The Holy Cross Study Center in Sargodha” made a tremendous change in my life, and I felt that I needed a true faith; therefore I continued reading the Orthodox literature. A miracle happened in my life: whenever I looked at the icon of Jesus on the wall of the Holy Cross Orthodox Study Center, I noticed that Christ speaks to me personally. So I realized that He is calling me to live the true faith that was handed over by Christ to His Holy Apostles. Finally I made a decision. I said “Yes” to Christ our Lord and true God.
This report on a recent event at the St. Anthony Orthodox Church Hyderabad, Pakistan was prepared by Fr. Joseph Farouq, Assistant Rector of St. Sergius Orthodox Church, Sargodha, and visiting priest to Islamabad for Iranian Orthodox families.