The Common Good
March-April 2001

A Crack in the Glass Ceiling

by Rose Marie Berger, Susannah Hunter | March-April 2001

The Church of Pakistan has ordained its first two women deacons, despite civil court action by a breakaway church that believes the Bible bans women from the clergy.

The Church of Pakistan has ordained its first two women deacons, despite civil court action by a breakaway church that believes the Bible bans women from the clergy.

"The church has taken a very bold step, particularly in our Islamic context, in ordaining women," said the newly ordained deacon Kushnud Azariah. "The gender barrier has been broken." Her ordination, she said, was both a privilege and a challenge. "Being the first women, [future ordinations of women] will depend on how we play our role in church and society. We need to be very careful. If we make even little mistakes, it will jeopardize the future of the entire [community of Christian] women."

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