Office of Moderator of Church of Pakistan Handed Over to Bishop of Peshawar

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On May 20, 2017 in the 15th triennial meeting the Bishop of Peshawar Diocese (KP and FATA), the Rt. Rev. Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters was elected as the new Moderator and Primate of Church of Pakistan. The Moderator will hold the responsibility for a three-year term. This office was formerly held by Bishop of Raiwand, the Rt. Rev. Samuel Azariah.

Rt. Rev. Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters

Rt. Rev. Humphrey Peters had previously worked as English language teacher in Edwardes College, Peshawar.

He was part of the original team that envisioned the Anglican Alliance. The has remained a strong supporter since its beginning and is a part of the team responsible for appointing the Asian facilitator. He is also the former secretary of the development and relief organization of diocese. The Reverend is also a supporter of Anglican realignment, a movement among some Anglican churches which aim to align themselves in a different view within or outside the Anglican Communion.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and FATA and northern areas are home to nearly 1, 65,000 Christians with about 55% from the Church of Pakistan, 40% Catholics, and another 5% Brethren, Full Gospel, Bible Church, and Anglican Orthodox. Majority of Christians in these areas have migrated from Punjab province and speak and understand Punjabi language in addition to the local Pushto language.
Peshawar Diocese formed in 1980 is one of the largest Diocese of Pakistan in terms of area. It is a part of the eight Diocese that make up the Church of Pakistan.

According to the last census in 1988, Pakistan’s two percent population is Christian which makes about 140 million people. Though Christianity was an already established religion in the sub-continent before the arrival of the British, but the large spread of Christianity is associated to the arrival of the British in India in the 16th century. The British built cathedrals, schools, colleges, and hospitals in the sub-continent which were run by Church. Unfortunately, the non-British Christians could not gain much from the government and remained in the slum of poverty and illiteracy. After the partition of India in 1947 into India and Pakistan, many Christians opted to remain in Pakistan.

A union of four denominations, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Anglican resulted in the Church of Pakistan in 1970. In the beginning the Church of Pakistan was divided into four Diocese i.e. Karachi, Multan, Lahore and Sialkot, but later in 1980, four new dioceses were created: Hyderabad, Raiwind, Faisalabad and Peshawar. There are at present eight active diocesan bishops with an additional bishop for the Gulf Ministries. This appointment in Gulf was made to take care of the pastoral and worship needs of Urdu-speaking workers in the Gulf.