In Religious News... Pakistani Businessman's 140-Foot Cross Bring Hope To The Country's Christians?
A Pakistani businessman has big dreams for the 140-foot cross he’s building at the entrance of Karachi's largest Christian cemetery.
Parvez Henry Gill, 58, says the bulletproof concrete structure will be the tallest cross in Asia.
His message is aimed at Pakistani Christians, who make up about 1.5 percent of the Muslim-majority country, although this figure could be higher. Gill's city, Karachi, is home to Pakistan's largest Christian population. "God will protect you. Stay in your country. Don't be afraid," the businessman said, according to CBS.
Pakistan stands out as one of the countries in the world with the highest levels of religious restrictions -- imposed by both the government and by groups like the Taliban. The country's strict blasphemy laws carry a potential death sentence for anyone who insults Islam.
But interfaith activism has been growing in Pakistan, with Muslims joining in on human peace rings to protect churches.
Churches have been part of Pakistan's religious landscape for decades. In fact, Karachi's Governor's House is located just minutes away from Christian schools and cathedrals, according to Akbar Ahmed, a former ambassador from Pakistan to the U.K. and Ireland and the chair of Islamic studies at American University.
Ahmed said the majority of Pakistanis will see Gill's cross as reaffirming the inclusive nature of Pakistan. But some may see it as a provocation.