Pakistan - (Asia)

Information about Pakistan

796095 square kilometres
"Muslim 97% (Sunni 77%, ShiŽa 20%), Christian 1.56% (RCath 40%, Prot 60%), Hindu, and other 1%"
Christian (%)
Protestant (%)
Reformed (%)

Pakistan became a sovereign state on August 14, 1947. For centuries the area had been under Muslim rule. Islam entered the Indian subcontinent first in 711 and spread in various stages in subsequent centuries. The high point of Muslim power was the period of the Great Moghuls (1526-1857). The influence of Britain began to make itself felt through the presence of the East India Company from 1600 onward. The battle of Plassey (Bengal) in 1757 opened for Britain access to the eastern part of the subcontinent. By the end of the 18th century British rule over the Moghuls was practically complete. In 1835 English was introduced as the official language. In 1857, after a last attempt of rebellion, the administration was taken over entirely by the British crown. The idea of an independent Muslim state in northwestern India was first put forward in 1930 by Muhammed Iqbal (1877-1938)and later, during the independence struggle, pursued by M. A. Jinnah (+1948). It was realized through the partition of India and Pakistan, which caused mass movement between the two countries and led to conflicts which cost many lives. Bangladesh, which was initially part of Pakistan, became an independent state in 1971.
Christianity is a small minority (2%) within a vast Muslim majority. The first missionaries in the area of today’s Pakistan were RCath. Several Prot missions followed. Large numbers became Christian during the so-called Indian mass movement between 1880 and 1930, when in the whole of India about two million untouchables accepted the Christian faith. In 1970 the Presb, Luth, Angl, and Meth churches decided to unite and to form the Church of Pakistan (cf. no 2), initially consisting of four dioceses, now of eight.



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