In May 1998, John Joseph, the first native Pakistani Catholic
bishop, shot himself in front of the courthouse where a Christian
had been sentenced to death for blasphemy. This book tells the
story of the Christians in Pakistan, with Bishop Joseph as its
centrepiece. It is an account of outcastes who sought hope through
Christianity, but who now find themselves victims of a struggle to
define Islam in Pakistan. The majority of Pakistani Christians are
descendants of untouchables converted to Christianity in the late
19th century. In Pakistan a minority religion is linked with low
status, perpetuating the Indian Hindu caste system even though the
Muslim majority has disassociated itself from all things Hindu and
Indian. The book also deals with enculturation in the Pakistani
church, the rise of native clergy, conflicts between the local
church and Rome, the rise of 'fundamentalist' Islam and the
position of women in society and church.
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