Karachi is not only unique in terms of its sheer size and impact on the country’s economy, but it is also a one-of-its-kind place characterised by the blending in of all minorities living in Pakistan.
The city boasts scores of churches which serve as places of worship for the local Christian community, as well as serve as reminders of its architectural and cultural heritage.
Some of the prominent churches of Karachi are listed below:
Saint Patrick’s Church in Saddar is the country’s biggest church with a seating arrangement of 5,000. Built in 1845 under the supervision of Karachi’s first Carmelite priest Father Casaboch, it was also the first Church in Sindh and was established at a cost of Rs6,000. The 54-feet-high marble monument of the church was designed by MX Andrade and imported from Carrara, Italy. The church was also declared as a heritage site in 2003 because of its constructive beauty.
The unique buff colored and gizri stone Holy Trinity Church on Fatima Jinnah Road (Zainab Market) was constructed in 1855 and was designed by Captain John Hill. The church has a nave stretching 115 feet followed by a 150-feet-tall standing tower. At the top, beacons helped ships enter the Karachi Port. During World War I, the church’s tower was also used as a signaling station.
Saint Paul Church Manora, managed by the Karachi Port Trust, was built in 1864 by the British general Sir Charles James Napier. The construction of this Protestant church follows the UK architectural style and is located besides the Port lighthouse.
Sacred Heart Church Keamari is a 158-year-old church whose foundation was laid in 1862 and its construction completed in 1922. This church is a parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi. The building has suffered two deplorable incidents. In 1990, extremists attacked the church in reaction to the Babri Mosque demolition in India and in 2000, the brass-made cross of the church was stolen.
Keamari’s City Faith Saint George Church was built during the construction of the Karachi Port in the 1850s. Its windows are still in their original condition but the wooden roof has been replaced with a cemented one. Unfortunately, it was also damaged by extremists after the Babri Mosque incident.
Saint Lawrence Church in Soldier Bazaar Garden East features a Mughal architectural design and is on the heritage list of the country. The church was built by the personal contributions of parishioners from 1903 to 1929 and opened for worshippers on August 10, 1931.
Saint Andrew Church at Regal Chowk is a 152-year-old Scottish church that was constructed in 1868 by architect TG Newnham. Its land was acquired from the British government. Before 1947, only foreigners were allowed to enter the church but after Independence locals could use it for prayers as well. The 13,723 square yards area of the church was merged with the Church of Pakistan in 1970.
Our Lady of Fatima Church on Randle Road is a church of independent parish and the only church in the city made of a unique and circular architectural design. It was approved on August 23, 1953 and the foundation was laid by Mgr Xavier Zupie on July 13, 1962. The heritage-listed church dedicated its name to the miraculous appearance of the blessed Virgin Mary in the small village of Fatima in Portugal.
Saint Anthony’s Church at Cantt Station saw its first stone laid on June 25, 1939 but due to the Second World War, construction was postponed. In the early 1950s after the collection of funds, construction began and it was soon completed. The architect of this church designed it in the traditional Gothic style.
Saint Jude’s Church of North Nazimabad was formed in 1955 after a house was acquired and it was decided to build a church and a school in it together. More than 400 families of Golimar, Peerabad, Bara Maidan and other nearby areas were catered to from this church.
Saint Luke Catholic Church in Baldia Town caters to approximately 2,000 Christian families of four towns of Karachi. It is also one of the largest parishes and was handed over to Missionary Oblates on August 28, 2006 by the Archdiocese of Karachi.
There are several other smaller churches in various areas of Karachi.