Saint Thomas the Apostle (also known as Judas Thomas or Didymus, meaning "Twin") was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus who is best known for doubting the resurrection of Jesus and demanding to feel Jesus' wounds before being convinced (John 20:24-29). This story is the origin of the term "Doubting Thomas." After seeing Jesus alive, Thomas professed his faith in Jesus, exclaiming "My Lord and my God!" presenting one of the first clear declarations of Christ's divinity. Christianity in Asia has its roots in the very inception of Christianity, which originated from the life and teachings of Jesus in 1st century Roman Palestine. Christianity then spread through the missionary work of his apostles, first in the Levant and taking roots in the major cities such as Jerusalem and Antioch. According to tradition, further eastward expansion occurred via the preaching of Thomas the Apostle, who established Christianity in the Parthian Empire (Iran) and India. The first Caucasus nations to adopt Christianity as a state religion were Armenia in 301 and Georgia in 327.St. Thomas the Apostle is a Roman Catholic Parish in the Diocese of Lansing. Our mission is rooted in the life of our patron saint. When Saint Thomas encountered the Risen Christ, his faith was encouraged and his heart was enlivened to become an apostle, spreading the Gospel and serving the early Church. We encounter the Risen Christ in Word and Sacrament, most especially in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We encourage faith in our Lord Jesus Christ through prayer, education, and the spiritual formation of children and adults. The love of God enlivens our hearts and we bear witness to the Gospel with lives of evangelism and service.Our mission reflects the life of our patron. When St. Thomas encountered the Risen Christ, his faith was encouraged and his heart was enlivened to become an apostle, spreading the Gospel and serving the early Church.
St. Thomas a disciple of Jesus who chooses the biggest area for the evangelization and traditions says that it was the will of Jesus that St. Thomas should work in India. India where Hinduism was the first religion but we cannot ignore that people had the sense of god and they were worshipping their gods and goddess. As Thomas was introduced to this new field of evangelization, he not only preached through words but he gave the life witness, which attracted a quite number of peoples. Christianity in Asia had a very different history from Christianity in Europe. In Europe Christianity found highly cultivated people whose religion had lagged behind their culture. There is an interesting but miraculous account of how St. Thomas happened to undertake the mission to India.After the Ascension of Christ, St Thomas was spending his anxious days in Jerusalem not knowing where and how to begin his mission. One day while he was wandering by the Market Place he happened to meet Abbanes, the trade agent of King Gundaphoros, and fell into conversation with him. Abbanes told the Apostle that he was on the lookout for a good architect to build a palace for Gundaphoros who was interested in foreign styles and was willing to pay handsome remuneration for a really good architect. Well, Thomas was a fisherman and knew little about architecture. But as the two were conversing, Jesus miraculously appeared on the scene dressed as a citizen of the place and joined the conversation. Jesus recommended Thomas to Abbanes as a good architect, and Thomas who recognized the Master took the hint and agreed to accompany Abbanes to India.
The State religion in Pakistan is Islam and Muslims are in majority. the country was come into being on 14th August 1947. The leading leader was Quid-e- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In the passages of history, it is mentioned that during the election of Indo-Pak was going on and Muslim league needed two votes to win the election to get the freedom and separation from India. The two Christian politicians decided to give their vote to Muslim League so that their will be a new country where justice and freedom will rule. The founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, promised equal rights for religious minorities. Yet Christians are among the poorest and most marginalized in Pakistani society. Christianity in Pakistan is not new. The early documents of the Apostles say that this is land blessed with the preaching of St. Thomas the Apostle. Through different means and institution Christians are witnessing that they are followers of Christ. Although it is not easy for all time but Church is marching continuously.
Christianity in Pakistan is as old as in Rome. It has apostolic origins, as tradition has it that St. Thomas the Apostle founded the Church at Taxila in the year 33 AD. The actual work of mission began in the year 1886 when the Belgium Capuchins Friars were appointed by congregation of the Evangelization of People in Punjab. Islam came much later in subcontinent and Muhammad Bin Qasim met Christians in Sindh and Multan. During the reign of Moghuls Emperor many missionaries visited India on the request of emperors. First of all a diocesan priest, Fr. Pereira came from Calcutta to his court in Lahore in 1579. Later Jesuits namely Fr. Francis Rudolph Aquaviva and Fr. Francis Henriquez were invited from Goa in the year 1579 and their mission ended in the year 1582/3. Not only Jesuits but Carmelites and Augustinians also worked in Pakistan and particularly in Sindh. In Punjab Belgium Capuchins played an important role and their special task to work with indigenous people. In the year 1935 Mission was divided from Bombay and became independent Mission of Sindh-Baluchistan and was entrusted to the Dutch Franciscan Friars.
Situation in Pakistan is not too good. Citizens have lost their trust on government and they are protecting themselves by their own means. Poor in the country are becoming poorer and rich are increasing their economic bank statements day by day. But we cannot ignore that majority of Muslims are not giving full rights to Christians and other minorities and it can be seen through various means. Punjab is most populated province and a big number of Christian‘s resident there. Christians are not treated well and they are not given full rights. One of the NGO namely “Muslims for Jesus” on 13 December 2011 states ―most people are in bond to labor on low wages, for example, Pakistan‘s brick kilns, are Christian. Christian women in particular are generally forced to take low-paid work, often in domestic service, and many reportedly suffer physical and sexual abuse from their employers. There have been many reports of Christian women and girls being abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslim men against their free will.
But even among minorities, Christians are particularly singled out, for a number of reasons. They are visible: they live mostly in urban areas and are often employed in low-wage jobs. They are also the poorest of the community. In December 2015, the Capital Development Authority of Islamabad submitted a report suggesting that the Christian “ugly slums” of the capital be destroyed to keep the city clean. The CDA, in this unprecedentedly stupid move (“their Trump Moment” as the English daily Dawn put it), argued that the campaign of destruction would preserve Islamabad’s aesthetics and maintain its Muslim-majority demographic balance.The proposal was rightly contested by political parties, activists, and NGOs and thwarted by the Supreme Court, but it was a worrying sign of just how poorly Christians are thought of by the Pakistani elite.Christians are historically considered to have positively contributed to Pakistani statehood, thus helping the development of the Pakistani society, but today they, along with other non-Muslims, are forbidden from holding high office. The Christian vote in Pakistan is around 1.3 million, second to the Hindu vote, which is around 1.5 million. While the Hindu vote is mostly concentrated in the Sindh and Punjab regions, Christian voters are more scattered. Since the minority vote is restricted to a few electorates, political parties are not generally interested in serving them, though there is a lot of lip service to minority issues.Minority representatives protest the problem of segregation from mainstream politics. There is no doubt that the electoral system adds to the problems of already frustrated minority communities in Pakistan. Minorities don’t have the right to place their own candidates in elections. They can vote for any Muslim candidate in their constituency from within the general seats, and they also have the right to vote for a minority candidate, but they don’t have the right to choose these. They are instead given minority seats for which tickets are allotted by mainstream political parties.