Role of Christian Clergy in Pakistan. By Riaz Anjum Advocate
07 Oct 2014
This is fact that politics and religion are two separate things. "Religion does not have any concern with state affairs". This is the principle on which almost all the countries have framed their constitutions which is one of the reasons of their success and prosperity. Such countries where religion dominates the society, politics and constitutions, ideology of nationalism does not flourish in such countries. People of such countries divide themselves on basis of religion, sect, language, territory, colour and creed. In such countries followers of one religion are considered first class citizens and religious minorities are considered second class citizens. Religious minority have to fight for their survival and recognition in such countries.
Unfortunately Pakistan is such country where religion dominates the society, politics and constitution. It is always test of wisdom and foresight of leaders of religious minorities that how they struggle for their rights in such countries in such circumstances. The religious minorities have to unite themselves and struggle for their political, social and economic survival. If they do not struggle alike, miseries and decline become their destiny.
Unfortunately Pakistani Christians have been facing such circumstances. Christian politicians have failed to launch a movement for social dignity, political power and economic prosperity of Christians of Pakistan. One of main reasons of this failure is crises of leadership and other is conception and behaviour of educated class and Christian clergy towards politics and Christian politicians. These two classes of Pakistani Christians think that politics is just sordidness and politicians are nothing but worthless people. That’s why there has been a clear distance between Christian politicians and Christian clergy of Pakistan. Clergy is more responsible for this distance than Christian politicians. It is misfortune of Pakistani Christians that Christian politicians have been struggling alone for rights of Christians without the cooperation and support of Pakistani clergy.
There were rare occasions in our brief history where Christian politicians and clergy can be seen together for just some days. In Pakistan clergy did not support to any political party. Due to the distance between clergy and Christian politicians, the followers of clergy too did not take part in political activities and always consider that polities is a prohibited area for them. In this way a vast majority of Pakistani Christians remained silent and kept away from the political parties headed by Christian politicians of Pakistan.
Due to this kind of mentality and behaviour none of Christian political parties succeeded in becoming a political movement. Due to these circumstances the dream of Christians of becoming a political power did not come true.
Pakistani Christians have been confronting the challenges of lack of quality education, unemployment, poverty and economic injustice.
In fact these all problems of Pakistani Christians are the result of distance between clergy and Christian politicians and non-cooperative attitude and support of clergy to Christian politicians. Now it is need of the hour that clergy should extend their support to Christian politicians to access the destination of social dignity, political power and economic prosperity of Pakistani Christians. Now Pakistani Christians are expecting the same role by the clergy as the clergy of East Timor and clergy of South Sudan played for independence of their respective countries. The clergy of both countries supported their politician and politicians succeeded in attaining independence.
Although Pakistani Christians are not launching movement of independence or liberty, however Movement against discriminatory laws, social and economic injustice and for political power, social dignity and economic prosperity of Pakistani Christians is not a small movement which cannot be succeeded without the support and cooperation of clergy. Wise nations make their present better than their past. Christian politicians and clergy will have to struggle together for bright future of Pakistani Christians. If the clergy does not extend their support toward Christian politicians it would be a difficult task for them to attain the destination of social dignity, political power and economic prosperity of Pakistani Christians. Therefore Christian Clergy will have to play their important and decisive role for bright future of Pakistani Christians.