he social status of Christians hasn’t improved over a century or so. The local Muslim barbers won’t cut the hair or shave the beards of Christian men. Many still avoid eating or drinking with Christians.
The objective to raise their economic profile remains a distant dream as very few Christians own any land.
Parveen wants that to change in her lifetime and hopes to see her grandchildren get good jobs. Those who migrated from the villages to Lahore are working as nurses and teachers or doing clerical jobs in government offices.
Every year the Church celebrates Mother’s Day to honor its mothers and grandmothers like Parveen Bibi, who are called in front of the altar to be blessed and offered garlands.
As Father Bonnie Mendes, regional coordinator for Caritas Asia, put it: “Mothers have always been important in South Asian homes. In some places she would even be known as the queen of the home. Even in a patriarchal society like Pakistan, it is well acknowledged that mothers give their children a good upbringing.”