Pakistan's persecuted Roman Catholics find hope at towering church constructed in slum
On December 24, 2011 At 11:09 am
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Members of the small Christian community in the Pakistani city of Karachi see their 5,000 person capacity church as a symbol of hope. The domed, three-story building that towers over the sprawling slum is a Roman Catholic church that was completed in November at a cost of approximately $4 million.
St. Peter's is now the country's largest Roman Catholic church and for many of its worshipers who attend services there, it is a symbol of resilience over state discrimination and extremist violence.
Christians account for 3-5 percent of Pakistan's population of close to 180 million people. The Christian minority is split equally between Roman Catholics and Protestants. They are often discriminated against. Over the last decade, the rise of extremist groups has often made Christians the target of bombings and shootings. Additionally, Pakistan's anti-blasphemy laws are used, in part, to prosecute Christians.