Pakistan Religions

The state religion in Pakistan is Islam, which is practiced by about 95–98% of the 195,343,000 people of the nation.

Islam is held to be the blueprint for humanity that God has created. The word Islam comes from aslama (to submit), and the one who submits–a Muslim–is a believer who achieves peace, or salaam. God, the creator, is invisible and omnipresent. freedom of the religion is guaranteed by Pakistan constitution. Pakistani constitution established a fundamental right in which all Pakistani citizens irrespective of Religions have equal rights. The remaining 2–5% practice Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and other religions.

Sects of muslim:

Muslims are divided into the following sects: the majority of them practice Sunni Islam, while 5–20% are Shias. Nearly all Pakistani Sunni Muslims belong to the Hanafi Fiqh Islamic law school. The majority of Pakistani Shia Muslims belong to the Ithnā‘Ashariyyah Islamic law school, with significant minority groups who practice Ismailism, which is composed of Nizari (Aga Khanis), Mustaali, Dawoodi Bohra, Sulaymani, and others.

  • Islam (96.0%)
    • Sunni: 75–95%
    • Shia: 5-20%
    • Ahmadi: 0.22-2.2%
  • Other religions
    • Hindus: 2%  (3,600,000)
    • Christians: 1.59% (2,800,000)
    • Bahá’ís: 40,000 to 79,000
    • Sikhs: 20,000
    • Zoroastrian/Parsis: 1,600 to 20,000
    • Kalash: 3,000
    • Buddhists: 1,500


Hinduism is the second largest religion in Pakistan after Islam, according to the 1998 Census. As of 2010, Pakistan had the fifth largest Hindu population in the world and PEW predicts that by 2050 Pakistan will have the fourth largest Hindu population in the world. In the 1998 Census the Hindu (jati) population was found to be 2,111,271 while the Hindu (scheduled castes) numbered an additional 332,343. Hindus are found in all provinces of Pakistan but are mostly concentrated in Sindh.


Christians make up 1.6% of Pakistan’s population, about 2.8 million people out of a total population. The majority of the Pakistani Christian communities is constituted by converts from Punjab region, from the British colonial era. The community is geographically spread throughout the Punjab province, whilst its presence in the rest of the provinces is mostly confined to the urban centers.



According to the last Pakistan census, Ahmadi made up 0.22% of the population, however, the Ahmadiyya Community boycotted the census. Independent groups generally estimate the population to be somewhere between two and five million Ahmadis. In media reports, four million is the most commonly cited figure.

In 1974, the government of Pakistan amended the Constitution of Pakistan to define a Muslim according to Qu’ran 33:40, as a person who believes in finality of Prophet Muhammad. Ahmadis believe in Muhammad(PBUH) as the best and the last law bearing prophet and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Messiah of Muslims. Consequently, Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims by a parliamentary tribunal.



The Bahá’í Faith in Pakistan begins previous to its independence when it was still under British colonial rule. The roots of the religion in the region go back to the first days of the Bábí religion in 1844, with Shaykh Sa’id Hindi who was from Multan. During Bahá’u’lláh’s lifetime, as founder of the religion, he encouraged some of his followers to move to the area that is current-day Pakistan.

The Bahá’ís in Pakistan have the right to hold public meetings, establish academic centers, teach their faith, and elect their administrative councils. However, the government prohibits Bahá’ís, as well as every other citizen, from travelling to Israel for Bahá’í pilgrimage. Recent estimates say that there are over 79,000.


In the 15th century the reformist Sikh movement originated in Pakistan’s Punjab region where Sikhism’s founder as well as most of the faiths disciples originated from. There are a number of Sikhs living throughout Pakistan today; estimates vary, but the number is thought to be on the order of 20,000.

In recent years, their numbers have increased with many Sikhs migrating from neighboring Afghanistan who have joined their co-religionists in Pakistan. The shrine of Guru Nanak Dev is located in Nankana Sahib near the city of Lahore where many Sikhs from all over the world make pilgrimage to this and other shrines


Buddhism has an ancient history in Pakistan; Buddhism took root in Pakistan some 2,300 years ago under the Mauryan king Ashoka, whom Nehru once called “greater than any king or emperor.” Buddhism has a long history in the Pakistan region — over time being part of areas within Bactria, the Indo-Greek Kingdom, the Kushan Empire; Ancient India with the Maurya Empire of Ashoka, the Pala Empire; the Punjab region, and Indus River Valley cultures — areas now within the present day nation of Pakistan. currently there is a small community of at least 1500 Pakistani Buddhist in the country. The country is dotted with numerous ancient and disused Buddhist stupas along the entire breath of the Indus River that courses through the heart of the country.

Many Buddhist empires and city states existed, notably in Gandhara but also elsewhere in Taxila, Punjab and Sindh. It is believed that Tantric Buddhism was developed in Pakistan’s Swat valley. Pakistan and much of Afghanistan were one of the first regions to adopt Buddhism and which saw a large number of adherents to the faith. It is believed that through the Silk Road of northern Pakistan, that Buddhism spread later to Central Asia, China and beyond.


The history of Jews in Pakistan dates at least as far back as 1839. there were about 1,000 Jews living in Karachi at the beginning of the twentieth century, mostly Bene Israel Jews from Maharashtra, India. Various estimates suggest that there were about 1,500 Jews living in Pakistan at the time of its independence on 14 August 1947. However, almost all emigrated to Israel after 1948. A substantial community lived in Rawalpindi. A smaller community of Jews also lived in Peshawar. The Bene Israel Jews of were concentrated in Karachi.

According to the National Database and Registration Authority, there are 745 registered Jewish families in Pakistan. Today, the majority of Pakistani Jews live in Israel, while modern-day Pakistan continues to host a modest Jewish population. There are a few disused synagogues in both cities; while one Karachi synagogue was torn down for the construction of a shopping mall. The one in Peshawar still exists, although the building is not being used for any religious purpose.



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