| Church cooperation
|| Development cooperation
|| Child sponsorship
Pakistan has the sixth largest population of any country in the world. The country also has the second largest Muslim population of any country in the world. Pakistan was formed as Muslims in India wanted their own Islamic state. Pakistan’s development has been held back by internal political conflicts. Nevertheless, poverty levels have decreased over the past decade. At least ten per cent of the country’s population live below the poverty line. Half of the country’s population earn their livelihoods from agriculture.
FELM’s partner in Pakistan is the Peshawar Diocese of the Church of Pakistan. FELM has worked in Pakistan since 1960. FELM’s support focuses on education, Christian teaching and healthcare. FELM also supports local Christian organisations.
Our sponsorship programme supports the education of 950 children in the Peshawar Diocese.
FELM supports the Tank Hospital in north-west Pakistan, close to the border with Afghanistan. The hospital serves both local people and those in the surrounding mountainous area and is specialized in caring for children and women. The hospital has internal diseases, surgical, maternity and physiotherapy departments.
There is a prenatal and children’s clinic as part of the hospital. The clinic is a government-approved family planning centre and trains healthcare assistants, mainly for the hospital’s own needs.
FELM also supports the Risalpuri Clinic, especially in its care for women and children.
Education and income levels in the area are below the national average. An essential tool in strengthening livelihoods is literacy. Therefore, the Peshawar Diocese runs a literacy course that is open to all. Alongside the literacy classes the diocese runs a sewing and handicraft course for women.
FELM supports the St Thomas Theological College in Karachi, which runs a three-year course preparing students for the priesthood.
The Church tries to reach people through, for example, roadside reading rooms. People are free to drop in to the reading rooms to read the day’s paper or Christian literature. There are also staff members who are happy to speak with visitors. Churches also arrange services and prayer meetings aimed at reaching out to those outside the Church.
Bible translation is also an important activity for FELM in those areas of the country in which people speak minority languages. In the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province the majority language is Pashtu, into which the Old Testament is currently being translated.
In an Islamic country, in which the public study of other religions is strictly limited, correspondence courses are extremely important. There are 16 courses in the national language, Urdu. It is also possible to study in English and Pashtu through the Bible Correspondence Institute, based in Peshawar.
The Christian education work of the Peshawar diocese focuses mainly on women, children and the disabled.
FELM also supports the interfaith dialogue of the Peshawar Diocese and, through this, supports peace and reconciliation in Pakistan.