History of COP

The Birth of the Church of Pakistan: A Covenant of Unity and Succession

On All Saints Day in 1970, a significant moment in the history of Pakistan unfolded as official delegates from various churches gathered to formally inaugurate the Church of Pakistan. Among the contributing churches were the CIPBC (Anglican Communion in Pakistan) with its dioceses in Dacca, Karachi, and Lahore; UMCP (United Methodists in Pakistan) represented by the Indus River Annual Conference and Karachi Provisional Annual Conference; UCNIP (United Church of Pakistan) through its Church Councils in Rajshahi and Sialkot; and PLC (Pakistani Lutheran Church).

It is the only church in the world joining Lutherans with Anglicans, Methodists, and Presbyterians and one of three in which Anglicans and Methodists unite, the others being the churches of North and South India

With utmost solemnity, it was declared that the Church of Pakistan would inherit the legal and spiritual legacy of each participating church, and this sacred covenant was deemed unbreakable, an indissoluble union.

 

The inauguration of the Church of Pakistan was based on the finalized Plan of Union, which underwent multiple revisions. The fourth edition of the plan, formulated in March 1965, served as the foundation. Its origins can be traced back to the movement of the Holy Spirit in various churches, manifested in the Edinburgh Conference of 1910, the Traquebar meeting of 1919, and the appeal made by the Lambeth Conference in 1920. The Round-Table Conference in 1929 initiated the work on these plans, with subsequent editions issued in 1951, 1954, and 1957. Valuable insights were gleaned from the establishment of the Church of South India in 1947, as well as from union schemes developed in Lanka and West Africa.

 

Contributing to the plan were a diverse range of churches, including Baptists, Brethren, Disciples, Anglicans, non-Episcopal Methodists, and Episcopal Methodists, alongside the United Church, mainly comprising Presbyterians and Congregationalists. The Lutheran Church, although not actively involved in the negotiations, embraced the constitution.

 

This momentous occasion marked the birth of the Church of Pakistan, uniting various Christian denominations under a shared vision and purpose.

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Diocese of Hyderabad

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