Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support, the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan continues to grow both in size and in maturity. This newsletter will bring you up to date on a number of recent developments. We are are pleased to present to you an update on Father John Tanveer’s recent trip to Russia, a request for prayer for the people of Pakistan, and good news of an Orthodox man recently released from prison.
In June, Fr John had the great blessing to travel to Russia for 10 days. The trip was arranged by a Russian filmmaker who has been working on a documentary about Fr John and the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan. Fr John attended a screening of the documentary in St Petersburg, with hundreds of priests, bishops, archbishops and laity in attendance. The film was very well received. Fr John was honored to be invited to offer remarks after the film’s showing. He implored the large audience to give of their abundance to their struggling Orthodox brethren in Pakistan.
The trip coincided with the 25thanniversary celebration of the canonization of St John of Kronstadt. Fr John took a long pilgrimage from St Petersburg, traveling two nights by train to Sura, Russia, the birthplace of St John. He visited many churches and saw the famous “White Nights” (nearly round-the-clock daylight). The highlight of his trip to Sura was the opportunity—unplanned—to meet Patriarch Kirill, who also was in Sura at the same time. The two were introduced, and Fr John was overjoyed to realize that the Patriarch was already well familiar with Fr John and the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan. Fr John was greatly encouraged by the Patriarch’s words of support and praise for Fr John and the mission.
Fr John was greatly blessed by the trip, which he called a privilege. His faith was strengthened and he was greatly heartened by the reception that he received everywhere he went in Russia. “Although I’m a sinner priest”, he told us, the media in Russia were very interested in him and he granted many interviews. As he was preparing to depart Russia, faithful gave him chocolate as a parting gift – more than 50 lbs worth! Never before had he received such honor and respect as during his 10 days in Russia, and he returned to Pakistan encouraged and strengthened.
Prayers for Pakistan
Pakistan suffered intense heat waves earlier this summer, with more than 1,000 fatalities as a result. Now it is the rainy season, and Fr John tells us he’s very concerned about flooding. They are working to build a road to the church (shown in the picture below), which would help prevent flooding. Some parts of the country have already experienced mudslides. Let us pray for temperate seasons for the people of Pakistan.
Very Good News!
Fr John notified us that a young Orthodox man who spent nearly three years in prison on blasphemy charges (accused of insulting Islam) was recently released! It is not uncommon for Christians to be accused of blasphemy, which is a charge punishable by death. Sadly Christians also suffer vigilante justice – being murdered by their accusers before they can stand trial. Needless to say, Fr John is overjoyed that this young man was released and thanks everyone for their prayers.
In order to continue serving the people of Pakistan, OMP needs our prayers and our financial support. We hope that you will consider giving your time in prayer and your financial support to further the work of the Church for the people of Pakistan. Please visit our donation page and consider supporting OMP financially.