St. Anthony’s Church, Lahore, 270 kilometers southeast of Islamabad, was consecrated in 1899 and is one of the oldest churches in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lahore in Pakistan. It was formerly called the “Railway Church”.
Father Andrew Francis was pastor of St. Anthony’s Parish until becoming Bishop of Multan in 2000
In order to improve relations between Christians and Muslims, Church officials of St. Anthony’s Church organized a Christian-Muslim meeting on November 19, 2005, to form a Christian Muslim Rabita (cooperation) Society in Lahore.
The parish has other ministries, such as visiting and teaching prisoners. The Inspector General of prisons in Punjab granted permission on May 29, 1990, to Church organizations to teach the Bible to Christian prisoners. There are 35,000 prisoners in 28 jails in Punjab province but there are no statistics available on how many are Christians.
On June 12, 2007, more than one thousand Catholics attended the blessing of the expanded wing of St. Anthony’s Church. Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore conducted the blessing. The construction took two years and was made with contributions collected largely form locals, with only a little help from foreign donors. The enlargement raises the church’s capacity from 900 to 1,500. Father George Daniel was the parish priest at the time.