I have received a rare submission from Shamim Mehmood on the state of Christians in Pakistan. Pakistani Christians are very persecuted peoples by the Muslim majority. In this submission there is the appearance of Christian clergy corruption in property matters and ordination. With all the persecution experienced by Pakistani Christians it is sad the Christian leadership is experiencing this inner turmoil. Below is Shamim’s report.
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Church Leadership in Pakistan
By Shamim Mehmood
Sent 7/5/2020 9:52 PM
Islamabad – Pakistan: The bishop of Peshawar, Bishop Humphrey Sarfraz [Most media spell “Sarfaraz”] Peters found in hot water – the congregation questioned his consecration as bishop after a decade.
Reportedly the bishop Humphrey Peter has been involved in selling the church properties and other proscribed provisions against the rules and procedure of the Church of Pakistan. A number of first investigation reports (FIR) stand filed against him at different police stations all around the province of Khayber Pakhtankhwa [Alternate spelling: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa]. The church also questioned his consecration which reportedly does not fulfil the requirements of the Church of Pakistan’s rules and procedures.
A decade ago, Humphrey Peters went to England with the help of a dimissorial letter by the then Bishop of Peshawar Diocese, Bishop Mano Rumal Shah. The letter transposed Humphrey S. Peters to the Bishop of England Diocese of Oxford to ordain him in the Holy Orders. In his letter, Bishop Shah said that one of the members of our clergy Humphrey S. Peters was among the leading critics of the blasphemy laws of Pakistan, and very active in efforts to have this law annulled because it is a great hurdle in our missionary purposes. He has written numerous articles against this law and speaks out in open meetings against the legislation. This has put the life of Humphrey S. Peters in great danger and on his request the undersigned has given him this dimissory letter for your Diocese.
Later, Humphrey S. Peters came back to Peshawar and claimed the Bishophood of Peshawar Diocese without meeting the requirements of the priesthood. Here it may be in order to give some details of eligibility criteria of a candidate for Bishop. To occupy this important position in Christian hierarchy, one must be a deacon, Presbyter Ordination by diocesan Bishop. He or she must have served as presbyter in-charge at a parish for at least six years and have minimum of a three-year theological degree from a recognized seminary. Bishop must also be in possession of a good moral character.
It is to mention that Humphrey Peters took over the seat of bishop in 2011 with the help of some associates illegally.
Edited by John R. Houk
Text embraced by brackets and embedded links are by the Editor.
© Shamim Mehmood