At Down and Dromore Diocesan Synod in June 2023, synod voted unanimously to recognise a link partnership with Multan Diocese, Pakistan, led by Bishop Leo Paul.
Of the 229 million in Pakistan, 96% are Muslim. There are an equal number of Roman Catholic and Protestant communities, in addition to a growing number of independent and Pentecostal churches.
Pakistan is No.7 on the Open Doors, World Watch List. Only 1.8% of the country are Christians and they live under threat from a national blasphemy law, the contravention of which could result in life imprisonment or death. At ground level this means that many male Christians are forced to take lower state jobs, false accusations are a constant threat and can lead to anything from job loss to mob violence. Women and young girls are vulnerable to sexual assault, abduction and forced conversions.
Diocese of Multan
The diocese has a similar number of parishes (75) to Down and Dromore and covers an extensive rural community, with a couple of urban centres. Many Christian villages in this diocese have a Methodist heritage.
Bishop Leo Paul has led the Diocese of Multan now for 13 years. Despite the constant threat of the national blasphemy law, the diocese continues the work of evangelism and training of church leaders.
The diocesan vision is to see communities living in peace and enjoying equality without discrimination.
Their mission “to share and proclaim Christ in word and deed, according to God’s word by spiritual and physical means.”
Bishop Leo is forward–looking and seeks to build up the diocese through community development, education, primary health care, empowerment of women, encouragement of micro finance schemes, children and youth work development and training of lay and clergy at their Bible School.
What are the benefits of this link to the Dioceses of Multan and Down and Dromore?
- Shared prayer requests and potentially online prayer gatherings
- Advocacy – an outside voice to tell their story
- An increased understanding of the Persecuted Church in Down and Dromore
- Support for clergy training at the P.N Paul Bible School
- Educational links – Multan has a number of Anglican schools
Recognising the importance of supporting the persecuted church, our diocese will take guidance from the Diocese of Multan, and undertake appropriate measures, to ensure that no communication will add any increased risk to the work of our new partners.
- Bishop Leo – for grace and boldness to remain a man of integrity and vision in his leadership. Protection over him and his family as they seek to extend and build God’s kingdom.
- God would protect his church from hostility, violence, and intimidation.
- God would strengthen and help women trapped in unloving and abusive relationships.
- Government would listen and act on the calls for justice for Christians in the country.
- God would send revival on Pakistan – 229 million people.
Partnership Link Coordinator
Mrs Denise Wilson
Tel: 07745 298734