Pakistan’s minorities have shrunk from 30% to 3%, which is a tragedy in itself for the country’s pluralistic society. While the incidents of such nature make it to the highlights because of the negativity and the growing intolerance in Pakistani society, engulfing our generations after generations – it’s people like Waheed Murad who reinstate our faith in humanity, tolerance and love. They prove to be torchbearers of hope in the times when compassion becomes a rare sight.
Opposing the popular ‘extremist’ image of Pakistani Muslims, this Muslim family has been looking after a church for about a century in Pakistan. Located on the mountains of Hazara district, the town of Nathia Gali, Waheed Murad has been taking care of St. Matthews Church. The caretakers have passed down custodianship from generations to generations. Waheed is the third generation caretaker of the family and has been looking after the church for 17 years now.
Previously, his grandfather looked after the church for 35 years and his father looked after it for 45 years. Since there is no significant Christian population in the area, no efforts were made for the preservation. However, Murad’s family has been doing it themselves.
Speaking to the media, he said that we believe in all messengers and respect churches and mosques equally.
‘’We believe in all messengers of God and believe in all the holy books, hence we give the same respect to this church, as we give to our mosque’’ – Waheed Murad said.
Murad says he is proud of his work and feels accomplished for adding to the society in a positive capacity. He said that he is the only person in the area who knows how to ring the bell of the church.
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