Faisalabadi Catholic priest offers message of hope for Christian-Muslim unity


Father Emanuel Pervez, a local Christian community leader, was featured by the Catholic resource network Aleteia which interviewed him regarding the state of Christians and other minorities living in Pakistan and the many difficult circumstances they have to face because of their faith in a Muslim majority country such as Pakistan.

Father Pervez, who lives on the outskirts of Faisalabad, where he houses upwards of 200 Muslims and Christians living together in harmony, acknowledges the many difficulties he and his community have to face but also offers a message of hope, propagating the necessity of unity. Critical of the role the state plays in defending minorities, and the dangers Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws play in the everyday life of local minorities, the priest displays a surprisingly deep understanding of the root of Pakistan’s problems, their position in the Muslim world and how the Christian community has to tread carefully to stay safe.

Father Pervez explained that despite the treatment of Christians as ‘second-class’ citizens in the country, it is necessary to interact and mingle so as to develop a sense of confidence between the two religious groups. Muslims often treat Christians with suspicion, he argues, and it is only through interaction that such deep-rooted convictions can be dispelled. He further says that there is a defined sense of underlying peace and unity between Muslims and Christians, which is often not self-evident in Pakistan. He says that much of this has to do with the fact that despite most people being cooperative, threats or hostility from even a single corner of society can prove to be deadly for minorities. He discussed an event from some time ago when he used to broadcast his sermons on a loudspeaker, which was in turn appreciated by much of the Muslim population, but he eventually had to stop the activity due to people threatening they would put an end to it if he did not.

It was from this that Fr Pervez took on the issue of blasphemy. He talked about how the issue was one that did not only cause singular cases of murder, but was also a major reason that minorities, especially Christians, had to be on their toes all the time. This, according to Pervez, has resulted in an atmosphere of fear in the Christian community. He argues that the word ‘blasphemy’ has been used so often that even a simple allegation is enough to enrage people, which is why so many simply use blasphemy as an excuse to damage minorities they have a personal issue with.

While Father Pervez was clearly concerned about some issues, and sceptical about their solution, the overall message he delivered was one of hope. He mentions that commonalities between the two religions such as their mutual devotion to Mary are a path towards developing consensus and harmony between them.


  1. Unity is precious. In unity lies strength of a family, community, society and the nation.

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