LAHORE: Golden Jubilee celebrations observing 50 years of a Christian neighbourhood in the heart of Pakistan.
At the same time as Christians of Youhanabad; a Christian neighbourhood celebrate Golden Jubilee of this largely populous Christian town in the country, the social media is actively reproving one Muslim vegetable vendor in this area on maltreating Christian women customers of his shop.
According to estimates the total number of Christian residing this area has reached 70,000 this year. According to official records the area offers 90,000 registered votes with more or less 60 schools and incredibly 100 Churches of different denominations.
In recent times, the Catholic Church in Youhanabad celebrated “Jashan-e-Baba Youhanabad” every year, to honour founder of this neighbourhood Fr. Hennery with his billboard size portraits erected in the area. Fr. Hennery, a Catholic missionary laid foundation of this town named Youhanabad in 1963. Youhanabad is unquestionably most populated Christian town in Pakistan; situated on Ferozpur Road.
What’s interesting is that with an astoundingly dense population; Youhanabad has voting strength to elect their Member Punjab Assembly and Member National Assembly in general elections yet the democratic right has never been exercised by the locals. Additionally sporadic incidents of Churches and Pastors in Youhanabad being attacked have been witnessed yet the Christian residents have never managed to stand united against the perpetrators.
Majority of Christians in Pakistan experience life as nobodies and are de facto second-class citizens subjected to discrimination, depression and violence. Regrettably, the government of Pakistan has never succeeded in providing the Christian minority with apposite rights they ought to have as the citizens of Pakistan. Youhanabad, doubtlessly one of the largest Christian colonies in Lahore is no exception to this and encounters a hotchpotch of problems from time to time. Firstly, it faces indispensable infrastructural problems clustered with religious discrimination, lack of healthy education system and fore mostly unemployment; leading to drug addiction and various other crimes. With the help of research tools and literature, detailed evaluations of these problems have been done by various NGO’s and organization producing recommendations yet the area has not seen much of their implementation thus far.