Catholicity or Catholicism (from Greek καθολικισμός, katholikismos, "universal doctrine") is a concept that encompasses the beliefs and practices of numerous Christian denominations, most notably those that describe themselves as Catholic in accordance with the Four Marks of the Church, as expressed in the Nicene Creed of the First Council of Constantinople in 381: "[I believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. While catholicism is most commonly associated with the faith and practices of the Catholic Church led by the Pope in Rome, the traits of catholicity, and thus the term catholic, are also claimed and possessed by other denominations such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East. It also occurs in Anglicanism and some Protestant denominations, as well as Independent Catholicism. While traits used to define catholicity, as well as recognition of these traits in other denominations, vary among these groups, such attributes include formal sacraments, an episcopal polity, apostolic succession, highly structured liturgical worship, and other shared Ecclesiology. The Catholic Church is also known as the Roman Catholic Church; the term Roman Catholic is used especially in ecumenical contexts and in countries where other churches use the term Catholic, to distinguish it from broader meanings of the term.Among Protestant and related traditions, catholic is used in the sense of indicating a self-understanding of continuity of continuity of faith and practice from Early Christianity as delineated in the Nicene Creed. Among Methodist, Lutheran, Moravian, and Reformed denominations the term "catholic" is used in the in claiming to be "heirs of the apostolic faith" These denominations consider themselves to be catholic, teaching that the term "designates the historic, orthodox mainstream of Christianity whose doctrine was defined by the ecumenical councils and creeds" and as such, most Reformers "appealed to this catholic tradition and believed they were in continuity with it.
The Catholic Church in Pakistan is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the pope in Rome. Pope John Paul II visited Pakistan on 16 February 1981. There are over one million Catholics in Pakistan, which represents less than 1% of the total population. There are 7 ecclesiastical units in Pakistan comprising 2 archdioceses, 4 dioceses, and one Apostolic Vicariate, all Latin Rite. The Catholic Church in Pakistan is also active in education managing leading schools like Saint Patrick's High School, Karachi, health and other social aspects of daily life in addition to its spiritual work. The Catholic Church runs 534 schools, 53 hostels, 8 colleges, 7 technical institutes and 8 catechetical centers, according to 2008 statistics.Joseph Cordeiro, Archbishop of Karachi, became the first (and thus far only) Pakistani Cardinal elevated to the position by Pope Paul VI on 5 March 1973.Pope John Paul II received the President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf in a private audience in the Vatican on 30 September 2004. In 2004 President Pervez Musharraf began hosting an annual Christmas dinner as an expression of seasonal goodwill.
When Pakistan achieved independence in 1947, the organization and activities of the Christian community changed drastically. Christians in Punjab and Sindh had been quite active after 1945 in their support for Muhammad Ali Jinnah's Muslim League. Even before the final phase of the movement, leading Indian Christians like Pothan Joseph had rendered valuable services as journalists and propagandists of the Muslim League. Jinnah had repeatedly promised all citizens of Pakistan complete equality of citizenship, but this promise was not kept by his successors. Pakistan became an Islamic Republic in 1956, making Islam the source of legislation and cornerstone of the national identity, while guaranteeing freedom of religion and equal citizenship to all citizens. In the mass population exchanges that occurred between Pakistan and India upon independence due to conflict between Muslims and followers of Indian religions, most Hindus and nearly all Sikhs fled the country. Pakistani Punjab is now over 2% Christian, with very few Hindus left. Christians have made some contributions to the Pakistani national life. Pakistan's first non-Muslim Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court was Justice A. R. Cornelius. Pakistani Christians also distinguished themselves as great fighter pilots in the Pakistan Air Force. Notable amongst them are Cecil Chaudhry, Peter O'Reilly and Mervyn L Middlecoat. Christians have also contributed as educationists, doctors, lawyers and businessmen. One of Pakistan's cricketers, Yousuf Youhana, was born Christian, but later on converted to Islam, taking the Islamic name Mohammad Yousuf. In Britain, the bishop emeritus of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali is a Pakistani Christian.
There is no definitive figure, but Christians make up roughly 1.6% of the population of Pakistan, as many as Hindus, according to the latest official statistics.Christians mostly converted from Hinduism to escape the caste-dominated Indian society before the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. But changing religion didn’t help: the roots of discrimination based on caste run deep in both Indian and Pakistani society.The plight of Christians has persisted for decades, but there has also been a rise of hatred against Christians since the late 1980s, when the dictator Zia ul Haq introduced Pakistan’s blasphemy law, particularly used to persecute Christians.
But even among minorities, Christians are particularly singled out, for a number of reasons. They are visible: they live mostly in urban areas and are often employed in low-wage jobs. They are also the poorest of the community. In December 2015, the Capital Development Authority of Islamabad submitted a report suggesting that the Christian “ugly slums” of the capital be destroyed to keep the city clean. The CDA, in this unprecedentedly stupid move (“their Trump Moment” as the English daily Dawn put it), argued that the campaign of destruction would preserve Islamabad’s aesthetics and maintain its Muslim-majority demographic balance.The proposal was rightly contested by political parties, activists, and NGOs and thwarted by the Supreme Court, but it was a worrying sign of just how poorly Christians are thought of by the Pakistani elite.Christians are historically considered to have positively contributed to Pakistani statehood, thus helping the development of the Pakistani society, but today they, along with other non-Muslims, are forbidden from holding high office. The Christian vote in Pakistan is around 1.3 million, second to the Hindu vote, which is around 1.5 million. While the Hindu vote is mostly concentrated in the Sindh and Punjab regions, Christian voters are more scattered. Since the minority vote is restricted to a few electorates, political parties are not generally interested in serving them, though there is a lot of lip service to minority issues.Minority representatives protest the problem of segregation from mainstream politics. There is no doubt that the electoral system adds to the problems of already frustrated minority communities in Pakistan. Minorities don’t have the right to place their own candidates in elections. They can vote for any Muslim candidate in their constituency from within the general seats, and they also have the right to vote for a minority candidate, but they don’t have the right to choose these. They are instead given minority seats for which tickets are allotted by mainstream political parties.