Pakistan jail opens chapel for Christian prisoners

August 22, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Karachi, August 21, 2016: A chapel has been inaugurated at Landhi Jail in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi for Christian inmates.

Christian social activists and jail authorities jointly opened the chapel Aug. 5, built with the help of a non-government organization.

There are currently 100 Christians out of 4,500 inmates in the city jail. They are either awaiting trial or serving sentences for various crimes.

The chapel was built just a few meters from the prison mosque. Muhammad Hassan, a senior prison official, said all inmates are free to practice their religions.

“There is no bar whatsoever on non-Muslim inmates worshiping,” he said.

Ishtiaq Awan, Police Assistant Superintendent, said that, although Christian inmates are normally kept together with Muslims for most of the year, on special occasions like Christmas, Easter and Eid, they are given separate barracks to celebrate their festivals.

Naqash Yousuf, 26, a Catholic, who is awaiting trial in a murder case, was thrilled at the inauguration.

“Some 40 to 50 Christian prisoners now visit the chapel and attend Sunday prayers,'” he said, adding that the pastor, who is one of the inmates, leads the service.

It was our longstanding wish to have a separate place of worship and thankfully the authorities have fulfilled it,” he added.

Samina Nawab, chairperson of Angel Patient Care Services, the NGO that arranged the funds for the construction of the chapel, had praise for the provincial chief.

“We are grateful to Inspector-General of Sindh Prison Nadeem Hussain Mangan for his continuous support and cooperation during the construction work and our other initiatives,” Nawab told ucanews.

“Our teams frequently visit jails and provide healthcare services to inmates irrespective of their faith,” she said. “I visited Landhi Jail and met some Christian inmates, who requested our help in the construction of the chapel.”

“My family members and pastors made generous contributions to make it possible. “Last week, we set up a medical camp at Hyderabad Prison and found out some inmates needed immediate surgery,” she said, adding that her charity was now focused on arranging funds to meet their medical needs.

Islam is the official religion in Pakistan, and although it allows its citizens to worship other religions, prayer halls, churches, chapels and community centers for those of other religions are normally not allowed on government property.

– ucan

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!