Pakistan
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (80.4%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Pakistan South-Central Asia World
Muslim (all denominations combined) 92.6% 36.2% 22.8%
 
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 80.4% 27.3% 19%
     
  • Shia Muslim
  • 9.5% 8.6% 3.4%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • 2.8% 0.3% 0.3%
    Hindu 2.2% 56.1% 14.5%
    Christian (all denominations combined) 2% 2.2% 29.9%
     
  • Protestant
  • 1.2% 0.7% 5.6%
     
  • Catholic
  • 0.5% 0.7% 15%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 0.2% 0.3% 2.8%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • < 0.1% 0.3% 2.3%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 0.1% 0.4% 2.5%
    Other Religionist 0.2% < 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 0.1% 1.1% 12%
    Unknown 2.8% 0.7% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 310,527 square miles and a population of 170 million. Official figures on religious demography, based on the most recent census taken in 1998, showed that approximately 97 percent of the population was Muslim. Groups comprising 2 percent of the population or less include Hindus, Christians, and others, including Ahmadis. The majority of Muslims in the country are Sunni, with a Shi'a minority ranging between 10 to 20 percent. Parsis (Zoroastrians), Sikhs, and Buddhists each had approximately 20,000 adherents, while the Baha'i claimed 30,000. Some tribes in Baluchistan and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) practiced traditional animist religious beliefs.

    Less than 0.5 percent of the population was silent on religious affiliation or claimed not to adhere to a particular religious group. Social pressure was such that few persons would claim no religious affiliation.

    No data were available on active participation in formal religious services or rituals. Religious beliefs often played an important part in daily life. Most Muslims offered prayers on Friday, Islam's holy day. Many prayed daily. During the month of Ramadan, many less observant Muslims fasted and attended services. Approximately 70 percent of English-speaking Roman Catholics worshiped regularly; a much lower percentage of Urdu-speaking Catholics did so. Attendance at Hindu and Sikh religious services increased during festivals.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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