shia population in pakistan 2020

2020 Report on International Religious Freedom: Pakistan, An official website of the United States Government. Several hundred protesters led by religious leaders took to the streets and chanted slogans against the alleged blasphemer. Pakistan ranks number 5 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population. For example, the Lahore Waste Management Company continued to employ mainly Christian street sweepers, which HRCP criticized as the result of employment advertisements continuing to specify that religious minorities should apply. It forbids discrimination against any religious community in the taxation of religious institutions. Members of parliament and officials of the Ministry of Human Rights and the Ministry of Law and Justice held consultations with church leaders from prominent Christian denominations and with NGO representatives, but the denominations, church leaders, and NGO representatives had not agreed on elements of the draft law pertaining to divorce and interfaith marriage by years end. The killings took place during protests sparked by twin suicide bombings outside two churches there. They also met with representatives of other embassies, leaders of religious communities, NGOs, and legal experts working on religious freedom issues to discuss ways to increase respect among religions and to enhance dialogue. The government did not permit Ahmadis to teach Islamic studies in public schools. According to AsiaNews, once Khan learned the family was Christian, he ordered them to leave immediately, because Christians are enemies of Islam. After harassing the family for a few days, Khan gave them a 24-hour ultimatum to leave. Pakistan Pakistani Shias live in terror as sectarian violence increases The Sunni majority is using blasphemy laws to target and murder those they call 'heretics' Shah Meer Baloch in Islamabad. Azerbaijan - 65-75% . According to the bill, all publishers would be required to submit to the Directorate General Public Relations, the provincial government authority with jurisdiction over printing presses and publishing houses, four copies of every edition of each title they print. For example, in March, media reported that a woman from Meghwar committed suicide after being repeatedly raped by a man of an upper-caste Hindu clan in Deeplo, Sindh. (Pakistan Bureau of Statistics) However, according to data from the 2017 Census that was made unofficially available to a lawmaker, the Hindu population may have decreased by 0.19% from 1998. On October 6, the Lahore High Court acquitted Sawan Masih, a Christian man sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2014, but Masih continued to face death threats and had to go into hiding with his family. Edit: August and September of 2020 has seen a renewed attack on Shia Muslims within Pakistan. The government continued to permit limited non-Muslim foreign missionary activity and to allow missionaries to proselytize as long as they did not preach against Islam and they acknowledged they were not Muslim. Pakistan has the third largest Shia population after India and Iran. On February 7, the district administration returned a century-old Hindu temple to the Hindu community in Zhob, Balochistan. Unofficial estimates vary widely with regard to the size of minority religious groups. These conferences were organized by groups that stated they were defending the teaching that Mohammed is the final prophet but were often characterized by both secular and Ahmadi critics as engaging in hate speech against Ahmadi Muslims. His was the first acquittal for blasphemy since October 2018, when Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death in 2010, was acquitted. In October, members of a State Youth Parliament team in Gujranwala defaced a public portrait of the countrys first Nobel laureate, physicist Dr. Abdus Salam, an Ahmadi. Although a sizeable. The constitution prohibits discriminatory admission based on religious affiliation to any governmental educational institution. Ahmadiyya Muslim community representatives continued to state that Ahmadi families were unable to register their marriages with local administrative bodies, known as union councils, since those councils considered Ahmadis to be outside the authority of the Muslim Family Law of 1961. . Visiting U.S. government officials met with religious minority community representatives, parliamentarians, human rights activists, and members of the federal cabinet to highlight concerns regarding the treatment of religious minority communities, the application of blasphemy laws, and other forms of discrimination on the basis of religion. The Shia Muslim population in Pakistan is estimated to be between five and 20 per cent which is not considerable given that over 95 per cent of Pakistan's population are Muslims . The constitution reserves seats for non-Muslim members in both the national and provincial assemblies. The ministrys budget covers assistance to indigent minorities, repair of minority places of worship, establishment of minority-run small development projects, celebration of minority religious festivals, and provision of scholarships for religious minority students. Shias in Pakistan reputedly account for about 20 percent of the population or 42 million out of the population of 210 million making it the second largest Shia population in the world outside Iran. On July 31, Hindu business owner and member of the Khairpur Chamber of Commerce and Industries Raja Kishan Chand was killed by unknown gunmen in that city. Armed sectarian groups, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and the once-banned anti-Shia group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), which is connected to other organizations banned by the government as extremist, and groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United States and other governments, continued to stage attacks targeting Shia Muslims, including the predominantly Shia Hazara community. The constitution states, All existing laws shall be brought into conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah [Islams body of traditional social and legal custom and practice]. It further states no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to Islam. The government announced it would seek a review from the Council on Islamic Ideology and at the end of the year it was unclear whether it still maintained its support for the temple. In Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provinces, private schools are also required to teach Islamic studies and the Quran to Muslim students. Some community representatives said Christians continued to face difficulties in registering marriages with Islamabad union councils because the councils claimed they had no authority to deal with unions recorded by Christian marriage registrars (usually church authorities). Non-Muslims may not appear before the FSC. The constitution requires the government to amend the law as directed by the court. After Iran and India, Pakistan has the world's third-largest Shia community, accounting for ten percent of the total population. At years end, she and her alleged husband had not appeared in court in Karachi, despite multiple court orders to do so. In July, police arrested four men for destroying a 1,700-year-old Gandharan civilization statue of Buddha in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after a video showing one of the men hammering the statue went viral on social media. Courts also penalized antiblasphemy groups. In a letter written to the Interior Minister, the LHCBA quoted the section of the constitution stating that Ahmadis are non-Muslim. In May, the New York Times reported the issue, which was subsequently raised by international human rights NGOs. The constitution states no person shall be compelled to pay any special tax for the propagation or maintenance of a religion other than the persons own. The name also comes from one of the names of Allah, Al-Wahab, which means the all-giver.. On September 10, police saved a Hindu trader from a mob that accused him of committing blasphemy and called for his death in Kashmore, Sindh. Median age total: 33.7 years male: 33.1 years These 142 individuals included both Shia and Sunni clerics who in the past had given controversial statements leading to sectarian tensions. July 2021 . Among the restrictions outlined in the bill, publishers, editors, and translators would be barred from printing or publishing any book and material containing statements or anything deemed to be of a blasphemous nature. The government of Punjab, the countrys largest province, passed a series of measures against Ahmadi Muslim beliefs. Three suspects were arrested for the rape but were released on bail, and the girls family said they harassed and pressured the girl to withdraw the case. In July, a teenager killed U.S. citizen Tahir Naseem in a Peshawar courtroom, where Naseem was on trial for blasphemy. Shia Hazaras in Quetta, Balochistan, continued to express concern about targeted killings taking place for the last several years. The court ordered police to hand over the woman to her Hindu husband and no police or court action was taken against Domki. In 2020, the provincial government began to implement the act, and NADRA began registering Hindu marriages in Sindh, according to Hindu community activists. According to Pew Research Center, adherents of Shiite Islam in Pakistan make up between 15-20% of the country's total population. Taking into account the Ahmadi boycott of the official census, however, community sources put the number of Ahmadi Muslims at approximately 500,000 to 600,000. Following the address, the Special Adviser convened an interfaith roundtable discussion at Karachi University, which included Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, and Parsis. Targeted killings of Shia and Ahmadi Muslims and violence and discrimination against Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadi Muslims continued to occur. Members of religious minorities, particularly lower-caste Hindus, complained of forceful evictions from their homes and villages by individuals desiring their land with assistance from government officials. On September 8, Mehwish Hidayat, a Christian woman, was reunited with her family after being abducted by a Muslim man and spending three months in captivity. In January, an antiterrorism court sentenced 86 members of the TLP to 55-year prison terms each for taking part in violent protests following Bibis acquittal. This issue was discussed at a Webinar on Gilgit-Baltistan or G-B on November 10. In July, religious and right-wing parties criticized the governments plan to permit construction of a new Hindu temple in Islamabad. Police intervened on multiple occasions to quell mob violence directed at individuals accused of blasphemy. The constitution states that no person attending any educational institution shall be required to attend religious instruction or take part in any religious ceremony relating to a religion other than the persons own. According to Ahmadiyya leaders, the government effectively disenfranchised their community by requiring voters to swear an oath affirming the finality of the Prophethood of Mohammed, something that they stated was against Ahmadi belief, in order to register as Muslims. I fear they will kill me, said Kareem, his voice shaking as he spoke from his place of hiding. On September 7, the JUI-F party held a large Khatm-e-Nabuwat conference in Peshawar, with party leaders and national and provincial parliamentarians in attendance. Other government officials, including Prime Minister Khan, advised Sarwar against signing the bill, according to a Lahore-based journalist. The law prohibits publishing any criticism of Islam or its prophets or insults to others religious beliefs. According to the CSJ, 2020 saw the highest number of blasphemy cases in a single year in the countrys history. In Islamabad, the deputy inspector general of police said as many as 15,000 police, Rangers, and Frontier Corps personnel were involved. The Sindh provincial government has legislation allowing couples to seek divorce and granting Hindu women the right to remarry six months after a divorce or a spouses death. On January 22, the Hyderabad center hosted an event on educational institutions roles in promoting tolerance and creating peaceful communities. Ahmadiyya community representatives reported the word Ahmadi was written on their passports if they identified themselves as such. The two major powers in the Middle East are Saudi Arabia, an Arab population ruled by a Sunni majority, and Iran, a Persian population ruled by a Shia majority. Speakers at these rallies warned Shia of dire consequences, including beheadings, if they continued to blaspheme against the Prophet Mohammeds companions. Many social media users celebrated Naseems killing. Other blasphemy cases continued without resolution. On July 22, Saeed Amanat, a Muslim man, abducted a 15-year-old Christian girl on her way to church in Faisalabad, Punjab. NGOs expressed concern that authorities often failed to intervene in instances of societal violence against religious minorities due to fear of retaliation, inadequate staff, or apathy. . In addition to the large JUI-F conference and rallies, the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami also held a large event in September in Peshawar; both parties criticized the PTI-led national government for failing to enforce Islamic law. He fears if he is seen on the streets of Karachi, the Pakistan city he calls home, he will be a dead man walking. How many Shia are in India? Their refusal to sign the statement meant they were automatically disqualified from fulfilling the admissions requirements. Hindu Dalits remained vulnerable to human rights violations and pressure by perpetrators to withdraw police cases. The protesters said that when they opposed the illegal evictions of villagers, they were charged in fake cases by revenue officials. It is important to remember that Shia have a high birth rate since their religion allows adultery (Mut'a). The HRCP reported that more than 40 such cases were registered under the blasphemy laws in August alone. According to government figures, the remaining 4 percent includes Ahmadi Muslims (whom national law does not recognize as Muslim); Hindus; Christians, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Protestants, among others; Parsis/Zoroastrians; Bahais; Sikhs; Buddhists; Kalash; and Kihals and Jains. 4. Sectarian persecution of Shia Muslims has been a long-running fracture in Pakistan, exacerbated by the proxy wars fought on Pakistan soil by Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia and Shia-majority Iran, as well as the US war on terror. The FSCs review power applies whether the cases involve Muslims or non-Muslims. In July, Tahaffuz-e-Bunyad-e-Islam [protection of foundation of Islam bill] was passed by the Punjab assembly, which supported only the Sunni interpretation of Islam, provoking a huge backlash from the Shia community. Among the targets of these attacks were Shia Muslims, particularly the predominantly Shia Hazara community. The government continued its warnings against blasphemy and other illegal content on social media through periodic print advertisements and text messages sent by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). The law requires clearance from the Muttahida Ulema Board, a Punjab-based advisory council of religious scholars from multiple Muslim schools of thought, to publish content on Islam in school textbooks, which Assembly Speaker Elahi said was necessary to stop the publishing of blasphemous material against Mohammed and his companions. On July 19, members of the Hindu community staged a sit-in in Khuzdar, Balochistan, to protest the July 18 killing of local Hindu trader Nanak Ram by unidentified assailants in the Wadh area of Khuzdar District. Though Kareem had meant it as a post of religious devotion, it caught the attention of an extremist Sunni Muslim group, who called him a traitor to Muslims. Sources vary on the precise breakdown of the Muslim population between Sunni and Shia Muslims. She denied her abductors claim that she had willfully married him and converted to Islam, and instead asked the court to allow her to reunite with her Hindu husband and minor son. On October 19, the PTA lifted the block after the government received reassurances from the company that it would more closely regulate content, but NGOs and activists expressed concern that the government could use this authority to target religious minorities. Civil society members reported authorities took no action to prevent attacks on Ahmadi mosques or punish assailants who demolished, damaged, forcibly occupied, or set fire to Ahmadi mosques. As well as the 50 who have been charged in the blasphemy crackdown, five have been killed since September and many more Shia families and well-known figures have gone into hiding. Users are advised to report such content on for action under PECA 16 (the 2016 PECA act)., In a January press release, PTA stated it was proactively playing its role in blocking/removal of unlawful content, with social media platforms being approached in this regard, and it encouraged the public to report such content directly to PTA and avoid sharing it on social media platforms and other websites.. The constitution requires the President and Prime Minister to be Muslims. Other NGOs also said that 2020 had seen an increase in blasphemy cases. Since 1980s, Parachinar, with majority Shia population, has seen the emergence of radical Saudi-sponsored Salafist groups, and sectarian violence has become a disturbing phenomenon, fueled by local and global terrorist organizations like the Taliban and ISIS. Shia leaders, meanwhile, denounced the specific honors prescribed by the bill to Mohammeds companions, which they said risked stoking discord between Shia and Sunnis, given their fundamental disagreements over some of the companions status within Islam. There were some cases in which police received custody of the accused from a court for 14 days for a senior officer to carry out an investigation. An additional six Sikh gurdwaras and seven Hindu temples were also reopened after renovation in Punjab. In July, the Department of State issued a statement following the killing of Tahir Naseem expressing outrage over the killing and noting that Naseem had been lured from his home in the United States by individuals who used blasphemy laws to entrap him. Parliament, church leaders, and advocates continued to debate the text of a draft law to govern Christian marriages nationwide, because the existing regulation dated from 1872. In Peshawar, security was increased around churches ahead of Christmas after security forces arrested four militants on December 17 who were allegedly planning an attack on Christmas Day, which is also celebrated as Quaid-i-Azam Day, the birthday of Pakistans founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah. On July 13, hundreds of members of the Bheel community, including women and children, marched and demonstrated against the demolition of their homes by revenue officials whom they said were in collusion with an influential landlord of the area in Mithi, Sindh. Human rights activists reported numerous instances of societal violence related to allegations of blasphemy; of efforts by individuals to coerce religious minorities to convert to Islam; and of societal harassment, discrimination, and threats of violence directed at members of religious minority communities. On June 10, police arrested Sajid Soomro, a professor at Shah Abdul Latif University, in Khairpur, Sindh, on blasphemy charges. We call upon authorities to ensure the safety of all Pakistanis.. Islamist political parties and Punjab Provincial Assembly speaker Chaudhry Elahi (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf PTI party) criticized the decision before written approval was issued, however, declaring new temples should never be built in an Islamic country. Courts issued two new death sentences for blasphemy and sentenced another individual to five years imprisonment. Minority rights activists criticized these advertisements as discriminatory and insulting. She was taken to Dera Ghazi Khan, in Punjab, to avoid Sindh provincial law, which bans marriage of girls younger than 18. Although the Sindh Hindu Marriage Act covers registration of Sikh marriages in that province, members of the Sikh community reportedly continued to seek a separate Sikh law so as not to be considered as Hindus for the purposes of the law. The government has never executed anyone specifically for blasphemy. These attacks targeted gatherings of Shia individuals. According to Shia community estimates, There are approximate 320 Million to 350 Millions Shia's lives in the world. Speakers at that conference repeatedly used anti-Ahmadi rhetoric. Dr Nauman Naqvi, an associate professor at Habib University in Karachi, said: Since Pakistans economic and political outlook appears increasingly troubled, the ruling power see Sunni majoritarian populism as the only option to secure stability, undercut democratic forces and distract from the grave political and economic crises that hover over Pakistan. Embassy officers continued to engage civil society leaders, local religious leaders, religious minority representatives, and legal experts in discussing ways to combat intolerance and promote interfaith cooperation to increase religious freedom. (July 2020 est.) However, the vehement sectarian resurgence began in 2017 when the Pakistani government began making concessions to the extremist Sunni Muslim groups. According to civil society and media, armed sectarian groups connected to organizations banned by the government, including the LeJ, TTP, and the once-banned anti-Shia group SSP, continued to be responsible for violence and other abuses against religious minorities. Status of Government Respect for Religious Freedom, Actions of Foreign Forces and Nonstate Actors, Section III. According to data provided by the Center for Social Justice (CSJ), authorities accused at least 199 individuals of new blasphemy offenses during the year. The case was based on the complaint of a local shopkeeper who claimed Zamin Alis Facebook page contained a blasphemous song that hurt the religious sentiments of Sunni Muslims. Doha. A few Protestant groups conduct missions in Pakistan. To seek office, Ahmadis would be forced to do so because by law they are considered non-Muslims, even though they self-identify as Muslim. The man was later arrested by police after the Sindh education secretary intervened in the case. Legal observers also reported judges and magistrates often delayed or continued trials indefinitely to avoid confrontation with, or violence from, groups provoking protests. On August 30, police charged Shia cleric Taqqi Jaffar with blasphemy for criticizing Mohammeds companions during a Karachi Muharram procession. RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP via Getty Images January 7, 2020, 12:20. Qatar. Pakistan population is equivalent to 2.83% of the total world population. Two days later, the 21-year-old student found himself the subject of a police report, accused of violating Pakistans draconian laws on blasphemy. Thousands of anti-Shia protesters recently gathered in the city of Karachi, with many openly showing ties to Sunni extremist groups like Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has documented links to the killing of hundreds of Shia Muslims over the past few years. On October 13, according to local media reports, Reeta Kumari, a pregnant Dalit Hindu woman, told the Sindh High Court in Sukkur that she had been abducted by a Muslim man, Rafique Domki, in Islamkot. The Sunnis, on the other hand, nurse the fear that they have decisively lost power and things . According to Ahmadi Muslim civil society organizations, the government failed to restrict advertisements or speeches inciting anti-Ahmadi violence, as provided for in the National Action Plan. Because of some limitations in many countries Population of Shia is not clearly known. Shia and Ahmadi Muslims were the most often accused, accounting respectively for 70 and 20 percent of all cases. Both passed the recruitment test and had successful interviews but were denied appointment by the assistant manager. On December 24, the PTA issued a legal notice to two Ahmadi U.S. citizens requiring them to remove their website,, or face fines, sanctions, or potential prison sentences. And up to 18 million of Pakistan's 74 million jobs may be lost. Smaller minorities are collectively labelled as 'other'. Religious community representatives estimate religious groups not identifying as Sunni, Shia, or Ahmadi Muslim constitute 3 to 5 percent of the population. Azerbaijan has the second highest Shia Muslim population in the world accounting for 83.6% of the total population while the sect accounts for 85% of the Muslim population in the country. Information Minister Shibli Farazs announcement that the Cabinet had decided against including an Ahmadi Muslim representative on the new commission contributed to a wave of hate speech against Ahmadis, according to community representatives.

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