St Michael's Church, Peshawar

St Michael's Catholic Church is the oldest Catholic Church in Peshawar, Pakistan. It is located on The Mall. It was consecrated in 1851.[1] It is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi.

St Michael's Catholic Church
LocationThe Mall, Peshawar
CountryPakistan
Language(s)Urdu and English
DenominationRoman Catholic
TraditionLatin
History
Consecrated1851
Architecture
Functional statusActive
StyleBuilt to resemble a Muslim Mosque
Administration
MetropolisLahore
DioceseDiocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi
Clergy
Bishop(s)Joseph Arshad
Priest in chargeFr. Yousaf Amanat

HistoryEdit

In the nineteenth century, armed British Catholic soldiers would parade to church, led by a Drum Major wielding his baton, with two bagpipers and two or four kettle drummers. After Mass, the soldiers would march back to their barracks. The church had special pews with arrangements for holding weapons.[2]

The church was not constructed using traditional Catholic architecture, but was built to resemble a Muslim Mosque, even engraving scriptures in the local language of Pashto.[3]

Post-IndependenceEdit

Since 1957 the parish has been home to St. Mary's High School for boys.

In 2001, Fr. John William, the parish priest at asked the Pakistani government for soldiers to guard Christian churches and housing developments after threats of violence had been made in Peshawar.[4]

The tower of the church almost collapsed following the country's worst-ever earthquake in 2005.[5]

Church leaders and Christian communities received letters warning them to convert to Islam or face suicide bombings. A group of church leaders met with police officials on August 11, 2007 and urged authorities to protect the minorities and apprehend the fundamentalists for causing unrest. Fr. Yousaf Amanat was parish priest at the time.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Khan, Omar (2002). From Kashmir to Kabul: the photographs of John Burke and William Baker, 1860-1900. Prestel. ISBN 978-81-85822-92-1.
  2. ^ Godin, Albert J (26 October 2012). "A possible Peshawar". The Friday Times. Retrieved November 2015. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ Ali, Manzoor (September 23, 2013). "Interfaith Harmony - the Church That Looke Like A Mosque".
  4. ^ Bragg, Rick (November 4, 2001). "A NATION CHALLENGED; Prayers Sustain Pakistani Church In Hard Times". New York Times. Retrieved November 2015. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ Catholic News Service October 11, 2005
  6. ^ UCANews 8/21/2007 Archived December 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine