Scotland. March 7. The five Scottish Knights Templar who shall convene Mr. Bhatti, a Knight by proxy to be a member of the clan, William McGrath, shall knight Mr. Nazir s Bhatti, Editor of Pakistan Christian Post and Founder of Pakistan Christian Co
Mr. Nazir s Bhatti shall be installed as the Grand Prior of the Grand Priory of Pakistan with the rank of knight Grand Officer. This was announced by Chev. James Reese, The knight and Knight Grand Officer of the Grand Priory of the USA.
Chev. Reese further stated that the Grand Prior have sanctioned installation of Mr. Nazir s Bhatti as Knight who is General of our Order, His Sovereign Excellency James P. McGrath, who is also Secretary General of the Confederation of Scottish Knights Templar.
The Cross of the Order will be given to Mr. Bhatti after the noon of Saturday, tomorrow, blessed by his sovereign excellency James P. McGrath in a recreated ceremony here in USA shortly.
In a message to Mr. Nazir s Bhatti "I offer you my heartiest congratulations . . . many are called, but few are chosen. You, Brother Nazir, have been brought to us by the Holy Spirit, and you have been justified by faith" Chev. Reese said
The message further read " We are all lovers of peace, but know that you are now a part of a Christian Order that could not be destroyed by any foe. May your fellow Christians take heart that the Templar banner will now fly in Pakistan"?
In a message to Mr. Nazir S Bhatti, The Chevalier Rev. Lehman Smith, KCTJ, Secretary, Priory of the Holy Angels said, "What an important post and responsibility you now have in your homeland. You have been thrusted in a hot LZ for Christians and I pray that your new post will be successful and safe! I would like to extend a warm welcome to our old order and my assistance to you whenever you need it. You are not alone; you are surrounded by close brethren in pursuit of a common cause. To live up to our original charter of protecting pilgrims to the holy land as well as to defend the Christian faith"
Chev. Ian MacGregor in a message to Mr. Bhatti said" Dear Brother in Christ, congratulations on your upcoming duty as Grand Prior of the Priory of Pakistan. My prayers and hopes are with you as you continue to keep the Christians in Pakistan informed. We pray that the millions of Christians there will unite and with one voice demand our brother Chev.Parvez Masih's release from prison".
Its first time in the history of Pakistan that Knights Templar order have honoured any Pakistani Christian with the rank of Knight when The Order was founded in 1118 A.D. under the spiritual guidance of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. The primary role of the Order was to protect religious pilgrims on their journeys to and from the Holy Land. During the Crusades, the Knights Templar were the most feared of all the warriors of Christendom, and even small numbers of them caused the Muslim armies to fear and despair, so ferocious were they in battle. Many of our modern institutions owe their origins to the Knights Templar, especially banking and international finance: the Templars devised a "chit system" that functioned much like a modern debit card; pilgrims could deposit their money in one Templar treasury, and use a "chit" to withdraw funds along their route. These "chits" used secret codes, known only to the Templars, to record credits and debits. Thus a pilgrim did not have to carry large amounts of cash, and be an inviting target to robbers.
In the Holy Land, the Knights Templar established fortresses and became one of the three "permanent" military forces to guard the newly formed Christian states. Their numbers, however, were too few to keep all of the Muslim forces at bay, and too many of the Crusader princes were more interested in plundering and getting rich than they were in protecting the Holy Land. The last Templar garrison fell in 1293 at the Battle of Acre, deciding to fight to death when the invading Muslims began to molest the women who had been granted safe passage out of the city. In Spain, however, Templar knights helped to drive out the Saracens and secure that country forever for Christendom.
Unjust persecution drove the Order from France in 1307, causing the remnants of the Order to seek refuge in Portugal and Scotland. In Scotland, they were succored by the Scottish King, Robert the Bruce, and helped to train his soldiers. During the Battle of Bannock burn in 1324, their tactics and training not only helped to save the day, but a group of Templars led a charge into the English right wing, collapsing it and helping the Scots to win a certain victory-and their independence.
Through much of Scottish and European history, the Templars had to go "underground" for fear of reprisals. But in Scotland there was an unbroken line of Templar succession, from the Templars who first landed there, through Robert the Bruce--who became a Grandmaster--to the Scottish Templars of today.