Presbyterian Church of Pakistan
The Presbyterian Church of Pakistan (PCP) was constituted in 1993. It has a long history rooted in the establishment of the Lahore Church Council of the United Church of Pakistan and the Synod of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. Presbyterian mission in the area was started in 1854 by the United Presbyterian Church of North America. The first presbytery was formed in 1859 and the synod of Punjab in 1893, which was declared autonomous in 1961 under the name United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan.
The purpose of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan is to make the work of God known to all and to spread the good news of Jesus Christ through word, thoughts, and deeds. The church is organized in sessions (the basic unit which comprises a pastor and a few elders), presbyteries (which consist of at least ten sessions), and the general assembly, which is the highest authority and meets annually. In 2022 the unity between two fractions in the PCP was restored and the church is functioning, in spite of difficulties and pressures.
The Presbyterian Church of Pakistan is actively engaged in evangelism, education, health care, literacy, agriculture, and social welfare. Evangelization is done by pastors, evangelists, and lay workers and includes the spiritual nurture of the members of the church, church planting and growth, and the building of churches and parsonages. The church's educational work suffered from the nationalization of the schools in 1972, but the church has established new primary, middle, and high schools for boys and girls, and boarding houses for students. The PCP runs two hospitals and provides health education for the people. It began the work of literacy in Pakistan which is now carried out by an NGO, and continues to cooperate with the government to promote literacy.
The Presbyterian Church is also the initiator of theological education in Pakistan, through a seminary for candidates for the ministry and extension classes for lay people. Agricultural services focus on helping the peasants with techniques of production, preservation of seeds, fertilizers, etc. Through its social welfare, the church assists the needy, the sick, the disabled, the poor, and the oppressed. The PCP is also involved in human rights, especially women's rights, minorities, and child labor. Its main priorities for the future are women, children, and youth ministries. The church wants to care especially for rural communities in order that they may also enjoy the abundant life in Christ.