Pakistan Christians welcome new Catholic cardinal

KARACHI, Pakistan — Christians, a tiny minority in Islamic Pakistan, have given a warm welcome to newly appointed Roman Catholic Cardinal Joseph Coutts in the southern port city of Karachi.

Coutts was heralded Tuesday at the Karachi airport. The 73-year-old former archbishop was among 14 new cardinals appointed by Pope Francis at a ceremony in Vatican City this month.

Coutts, born in India, is only the second cardinal from Pakistan after Cardinal Joseph Cordero who died in 1994.

Coutts attended a ceremony at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi, where he prayed for interfaith harmony, prosperity and peace in Pakistan.

The Pakistani government welcomed Coutts' promotion, saying it was an honor for Pakistan, where Christians face discrimination and have been targeted by Islamic extremists.

Christians make up about 2 percent of Pakistan's population.

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