Churches in Pakistan have a long history that dates back to the 16th century, when the East India Company brought the first Christian missionaries to the continent. Following the end of British administration, a number of churches built for the use of British Army officers and their families were incorporated into Pakistan. In 1970, the Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian churches came together to form the Church of Pakistan.
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These churches were largely built during the British era. As a result, these religious structures’ exterior and interior designs, which feature eye-catching turrets, imposing domes, and arching glass windows, are reminiscent of traditional English churches.
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As the second-largest religious minority in the nation, Christians have made it a priority for the government to maintain and refurbish these century-old churches. In reality, a few of these magnificent buildings that represented Islam in Pakistan are today regarded as national landmarks.
HISTORICAL CHURCHES IN PAKISTAN
Here is a list of Pakistani churches that are renowned for their gorgeous architecture and historical significance.
ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, KARACHI
In Pakistan, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is regarded as one of the largest churches.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral was constructed on the grounds of the oldest church in Karachi and maybe all of Sindh in 1881. The 170-foot architectural marvel is situated in Saddar Town, not far from Empress Market. It was built close to St. Patrick’s Church, which was established in 1845, to serve the expanding Catholic population in the neighborhood. It is regarded as Karachi’s biggest cathedral.
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For a while, the church was situated next to the cathedral. Unfortunately, a storm in 1885 led to its demise.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral was also constructed during the British Colonial Era, which is extremely obvious in its design, like most prominent churches in Pakistan.
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While the cathedral itself is a sight to marvel at, the awe-inspiring Monument to Christ the King on the premises is the first thing that draws visitors’ attention when they enter the boundary wall. The 54-foot-tall white marble monument was built in 1931 and holds the statue of prominent Christian missionary St. Francis Xavier.
In 2003, the government declared St. Patrick’s Cathedral a protected monument under the Sindh Cultural Heritage Protection Act because of its cultural importance and historic Gothic Revival architecture.
ST. PAUL’S CHURCH, RAWALPINDI
Baptism services have been offered at St. Paul’s Church for more than a century.
One of the older churches in Rawalpindi, St. Paul’s Church, had its foundation set in 1876. But it wasn’t until 1908 that a formal service was performed there, when the Scottish soldiers of the British Army’s Northern Command were invited to a gathering for prayer. The Church of Scotland built the church, which was given to the Presbyterian Church in 1947 when Pakistan was established.
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In Rawalpindi, St. Paul’s Church is situated across from General Headquarters (GHQ).
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The church once had a red-brick facade and timber ceilings, like most structures built during the British Colonial era. However, a few years ago, while undergoing restorations, it was painted grey. Jesus and the Virgin Mary are shown in the enormous stained-glass windows that flank each side of the main prayer area.
With a capacity for about 800 parishioners at once, St. Paul’s Church has been performing baptisms for more than a century.
ST. MATHEW’S CHURCH, NATHIAGALI
This charming church is now a well-liked tourist destination in the region.
St. Matthew’s Church in the picturesque hill town of Nathia Gali in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, another place of worship constructed more than a century ago, is unquestionably one of the most magnificent churches in Pakistan.
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The church was also constructed during the British era and is almost entirely composed of cedarwood. From the main Nathia Gali Market area, it is only a short stroll away and still in operation. The majority of hotels and eateries are situated there.
The church is very close to Paradise Point. It is a well-known picnic area featuring a number of kiddie rides and canteens for quick refreshments. The majority of the horses in the area are typically available for rent to guests for a modest price.
ST. MARY’S CATHEDRAL, MULTAN
This magnificent red-brick church was built in 1858.
A sight to behold is St. Mary’s Cathedral, which has been around for 170 years. The Cathedral is situated on Qasim Road in the Cantt district of Multan and is one of the biggest and oldest churches in the city. It was largely constructed for the local British Army troops.
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St. Mary’s Cathedral was renovated in 2013 by the Pakistan Army in collaboration with Multan’s civil society. At the time, the revocation cost more than 5 million rupees.
The opulent crimson structure has hardwood ceilings and big arched windows that are reminiscent of historic European cathedrals built in the Gothic style.
SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL, LAHORE
Without a doubt, Lahore’s Sacred Heart Cathedral is its busiest church.
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The imposing Sacred Heart Cathedral in the ancient city of Lahore was built in 1907 and was created by a Belgian architect by the name of Edouard Dobbeleers. In the pre-partition sub-continent, the Roman-Byzantine-style structure was constructed to serve as the primary church for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lahore.
St. Anthony’s School, a renowned boys’ school, is housed within the structure. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq are only a couple of the well-known army officers, athletes, journalists, lawmakers, and politicians who have graduated from the esteemed institution.
ST. JOHN’S CATHEDRAL, PESHAWAR
One of Pakistan’s oldest cathedrals is St. John’s.
One of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s oldest churches is St. John’s Cathedral in Peshawar. The structure, which was built between 1851 and 1860, was formerly known as St. John’s Church. It operated as a garrison church for the local families of the British soldiers stationed there. Many British officers who lost their lives in battle on the frontier were interred in the cemetery next to the main structure.
In 1982, St. John’s Church, a magnificent structure resembling the ancient European cathedrals, received the designation of cathedral. The Anglican Diocese of Peshawar is the owner of the church. It belongs to one of the Church of Pakistan’s eight dioceses.
The Cathedral, a significant historical building in the area, has a capacity of about 700 people.
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There are many historical structures in Pakistan that will leave you dumbfounded because the country has such a rich cultural heritage. Look at some of the old forts in Pakistan that everyone should visit at least once if you’re interested in ancient architecture.
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