January 16th, 2022
By Junaid Shah
The Saint Paul Church located on the seaside island of Manora, Karachi was built by the British circa 1864 and has great historical importance. The Church saw the first formal hoisting of a British flag in Sindh after the former’s conquest of the territory under the leadership of Sir James Napier.
This Church became the site for an inter-faith gathering of Muslims and Christians on the first eve of this year. Founded with the purpose of promoting religious harmony between Muslims and Christians of the region the Church seems to be true to its purpose to this day.
Scores of Muslims participated in the Christian gathering and many of them expressed great joy at being part of this historic tradition. Many of them are repeat visitors to the Church.
The Churchgoers and the Church’s management both seem to be extremely satisfied with the behavior of their Muslim neighbors. “I have been serving this church for a long time now and have never encountered any issues with the Muslim community. We worship freely here,” says Faisal an employee of the historic Church’s management.
The Church administration does have worries though. The roof of the Church is in dire need of renovation as the old wooden structure can no longer hold its own against heavy rains. Many Bibles and other holy artifacts being hosted at the Church have suffered damage during the rainy season.
“I appeal to the government, the civil society, and governments abroad to come to our aid. The roof of our Church is in immediate need of repair. And we do not have the funds required to get it fixed on our own,” says Simon Masih, a member of the Church’s administration while holding damaged Bibles in his hands.