The best and most appealing thing about Pakistan is that we respect and protect minorities’ religious freedom till back after the partition.
When Pakistan came into existence after the partition, a number of churches established for the British Army officers and their families to congregate became a part of the country.
The history of churches in Pakistan goes back to the 16th century when Christian missions began arriving in the sub-continent after the advent of the East India Company. The government has protected the number of historical churches in Pakistan for the Christian community and gem for future tourism after partition. As a majority of these churches were constructed during the British era, therefore, the architecture and interior of these religious buildings mirror the designs of old British churches.
In fact, some of these structures symbolizing Christianity in Pakistan are now considered national monuments. Here I’ll explain a few historical churches in Pakistan that are still in very good condition and still working as holy places for the Christian community.
1. ST. PAUL’S CHURCH, RAWALPINDI
The foundation of St. Paul’s Church was laid in 1876, making it one of the oldest churches located in Rawalpindi. St. Paul’s Church is exactly located opposite General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
However, the first formal service wasn’t held there until 1908, when the Scottish soldiers in the British Army’s Northern Command were summoned for communal worship. Constructed by the Church of Scotland, the church was handed over to the Presbyterian Church after the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
Like most buildings constructed during the British Colonial era, the church used to have a red-brick exterior with wooden ceilings. However, it was painted grey a couple of years ago during renovations. The large stained-glass windows on each side of the main praying hall illustrate images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
St. Paul’s Church can accommodate almost 800 parishioners at a time and has been providing baptism services for over 100 years.
2. ST. MARY’S CATHEDRAL, MULTAN
The 170-year old St. Mary’s Cathedral is certainly a sight to behold. One of the largest and oldest churches in Multan, the cathedral is located on Qasim Road in the Cantt area. It was built primarily for the British Army personnel stationed in the area.
The church’s foundation was laid in 1848, but according to some accounts, the construction was completed within the next 10 years. The majestic building also houses the Bishop of Multan and is considered an important historical monument by visitors and locals alike.
In 2013, the Pakistan Army worked with the civil society of Multan to renovate St. Mary’s Cathedral. The revocation cost more than 5 million rupees at the time.
The elegant red building, constructed in the Gothic architectural style of old European churches, has tall arched windows and wooden ceilings. Most of the material used in its construction, including tiles, wood, metals, glass and the church bell, was reportedly imported from England.
3. SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL, LAHORE
The grand Sacred Heart Cathedral Designed by a Belgian architect named in the beautiful and lively historic city Lahore.
It is a very old church in Pakistan, which was constructed date back to 1907. The Roman-style building was built to serve as the main church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lahore in the pre-partition era of the sub-continent.
It continues to be one of the most popular and busiest churches in Lahore. People from all over the world come and visit this historic church and appreciate the roman-architect beauty of this church.
One of the most elegant British era buildings in the city of Lahore, the main prayer hall in the Sacred Heart Cathedral can accommodate nearly 1,500 worshippers at a time. Located on Lawrence Road, the church’s signature wide dome and tall turrets can be seen from far away.
The church also has a famous boys’ school on its premises, called St. Anthony’s School. A number of prominent army officers, sportsmen, journalists, legislators, and politicians are the alumni of this prestigious institute. In fact, this church has become a popular tourist attraction in Lahore.
4. ST. MATHEW’S CHURCH, NATHIAGALI
St. Matthew’s Church yet another place of worship built over a century ago, in the scenic hill station of Nathia Gali in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This church is one of the most beautiful historic churches in Pakistan.
Surrounded by tall spruce trees against the backdrop of mesmerizing green mountains. These mountains are covered with snow during the whole months of winter. This picturesque church is worthy of a postcard.
The church, which is almost entirely made out of cedarwood, was also built during the British Rule. However, it is still active and can be reached after a small hike from the main Nathia Gali market area. This church is located in the commercial area of Nathia Gali, where most hotels and restaurants are located.
Moreover, this church is considered as the next to Paradise Point. It’s a famous picnic spot with several rides for children and a number of cafés and canteens for refreshment. Here you will find horses available in the area, which serves a ride for visitors on a very nominal fee. St. Matthew’s Church is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area and it is our most beautiful future historical gem.
The historical places like these churches in Pakistan dominate the entire arena because of its rich history and one of the oldest civilizations of this world had lived where Pakistan stands today.
Tourists from all over the World now find more attraction from these historical beautiful churches in Pakistan.