Title: Pakistan Religious Freedom Landscape Report
Author: Timothy S. Shah
About: The Pakistan Religious Freedom Landscape Report provides a thorough analysis of the legal, political, and social conditions that shape religious freedom in this country and the prospects for advancing it in the future.
An ethnically and religiously diverse country of more than 210 million people, Pakistan, through its laws and government policies, has followed a trajectory of exclusion and restriction of religious freedom almost from the beginning of its independence from British rule in 1947. What started as a notion of an inclusive democratic home for Muslims and non-Muslims soon devolved into a majoritarian society that has limited the rights of non-Muslims and, in extreme situations, proved hostile to their existence.
Islam is the official religion of Pakistan and is protected by the Constitution. The preeminence of Islam in government and society is a danger to equal treatment of religion and status of citizens. Pakistan does, however, have a strong civil society, often working directly to advance religious freedom and other
human rights. Some positive movement can also be found in the country’s courts, which have seen some increasingly positive judicial declarations on religious freedom in recent years. Social hostilities and government restrictions, nonetheless, continue to present severe obstacles to religious freedom in Pakistan.
Publication Date: September 2020
Recommended Citation: Shah, Timothy S. Pakistan Religious Freedom Landscape Report. Religious Freedom Institute, 2020.