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Maktaba-e-Anaveem Pakistan
(Peoples' Forum for Contextual Theologies)

About MAP

The national scenario of Pakistan in which Maktaba-e-Anaveem Pakistan (MAP) emerged has to be seen in an historical perspective. With the Independent in 1947 there was a flow of foreign missionaries from different Continents of Europe, America, Canada and Australia into Pakistan. Due to the untiring efforts of foreign missionaries there was a mass conversion into Christianity from low caste groups living on the fringes and peripheries of the society.

The new converts found some social status in the society by being closer and becoming subjects to foreign missionaries. The missionaries by caring in all respects the new converts became their Mai-Bap (mother-father), 'Mi' means God mother and 'Bap' means God father. In Pakistani culture to become Mi-Bap of some body means taking all the responsibilities to look after, take care and provide every thing to the person just like a child. It connotes total dependency and inadequacy inability to cope with the situation. Thus the period from 1947 to 1960 is known as the period of charity and alms giving.

Between 1960 and 1970, the Church shifted her emphasis from charity and almsgiving to community development projects. Caritas Pakistan, Misereor, Catholic Relief Services and other funding agencies fostered such initiatives. There were many housing schemes, building projects, loan plans, small industrial and economic projects. In the parishes many buildings were built for formal and non-formal education, for health care and especially for the care of the physically handicapped, mentally retarded, and lepers. During this period the Church concentrated on the promotion of agriculture in the Christian villages. She started co-operative banks to provide seeds, fertilizers and provided loans to install tube wells to increase the supply of irrigation water. To provide shelter many housing schemes were started by the missionaries along with schools and hostels for the poor children in every diocese. Thus the period from 1960 to 1970 is known as the period of development.

From 1970 to 1980, the Church shifted from the above development projects to self-reliance, awareness and conscientization programs, training community leaders, forming animators and undertaking other leadership training programs. The Pastoral Institute Multan was built for this purpose. Caritas Pakistan as the official institution of the Church for addressing justice, peace and development issues in the country began conducting the Social Awareness and Leadership Training Program (SALT), which made a major contribution to raising the consciousness, the dignity and rights of the people.

From 1980 onward, Christian-Muslim Dialogue groups started functioning. This initiative was taken in the light of Zia-ul-Haq's (1977-88) attempt of total Islamisation of Pakistani society. During this period the Church sponsored Justice and Peace Commissions began to fight against the discriminatory laws promulgated by the governments of Pakistan against minority groups. The Church now struggle for basic human rights, the rights of Christians as citizens and against discrimination and intolerance in Pakistani society.

From 1980 onward the Church regressed from her earlier efforts of consciousness raising, promoting self-reliance and animation of local communities to project oriented development programmes funded and supported by a massive flow of external aid. Through easily accessible foreign aid the parish priests consolidated their powers in the parishes and have full control over the laity. The poor faithful are patronized by and their lives are shaped and controlled by the hierarchical Church in Pakistan. In this scenario only in 1989 Maktaba-e-Anaveem Pakistan (MAP) originated to provide voice to the voiceless laity and dignity to the degraded faithful of the church in Pakistan, to dig the local wealth, heritage, wisdom and spirituality found in the local culture and context.