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Faith Amidst Adversity

One the particularities of Rome being the center of Catholicism is the notable presence of Bishops who came to the Eternal City. These frequent visits also occasion brief stopovers of some Bishops in our college, especially Bishops who have one or more of their seminarians here. Freshly returned from the Christmas holiday, on the 11 of January, we were honoured by the visit of His Excellency Indrias Rehmat, the Catholic Bishop of Faisalabad, Pakistan, the diocese of a first-year theology seminarian in our college. This Diocese, which covers a 35,300 km2, was erected in 1960, as the Diocese of Lyallpur, a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Lahore. In 1977, the name of the diocese was changed to Faisalabad.

During his short visit to our college, the bishop had lunch with us and before imparting the episcopal blessing on all present, made some few remarks. In his brief discourse, he narrated briefly in a encouraging and hopeful manner, the difficult situation of Christians in Pakistan who make up about only two percent of the total population. He mentioned in a particular way the attack of 16 August, 2023 against the Christian community in the region of Faisalabad, which saw the vandalization and burning of several churches, a cemetery and houses. He added however, that despite these persecutions, the Pakistan Christians are courageous and optimistic. He thanked the college for the service rendered in the formation of seminarians, and finally asked for prayers for Pakistan and particularly for the persecuted Christian communities.


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