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Irreligion in Pakistan

Irreligion and atheism are present among a minority of mainly young people in Pakistan.[1][2][3]

In 2005, about 1% of the population was estimated to be atheist, and by 2012, the figure rose to about 2% according to Gallup.[4]

Atheists in Pakistan face discrimination, persecution and prejudice in society.[5][6] Pakistan is reported by some sources to be among the seven countries where atheism can attract capital punishment, but according to the Library of Congress of the United States, "there is no specific statutory law that criminalizes apostasy in Pakistan."[7][8] On the other hand, the Pakistani government can impose the death penalty for blasphemy.[9] In 2012, Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan was founded by Fauzia Ilyas.[5] It was the first public atheist and non-religious organisation in a country with Islam as its state religion.

Pakistani blogger Ayaz Nizami,[10] the Vice President of Atheist & Agnostic Alliance pakistan.[11] and founder of the website, an Urdu website about atheism,[11] is currently detained under the charges of blasphemy and could face the death penalty.[12][13] This happened shortly after former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif supported a crackdown on blasphemous material posted on social media and described blasphemy as an "unpardonable offence" in March 2017.[14][15]

Notable non-religious PakistanisEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Pakistani youths turning into atheists". IBN Live. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  2. ^ "Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism" (PDF). Gallup. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  3. ^ "The hardest part about being faithless". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  4. ^ Husain, Irfan (27 Aug 2012). "Faith in decline". Dawn. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012. Interestingly, and somewhat intriguingly, 2 per cent of the Pakistanis surveyed see themselves as atheists, up from 1pc in 2005.
  5. ^ "What do Pakistani atheists mean for Pakistan?". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
  6. ^ "Being Pakistani and atheist a dangerous combo, but some ready to brave it". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  7. ^ Fisher, Max (10 Dec 2012). "The seven countries where the state can execute you for being atheist". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 December 2012. Though that list includes some dictatorships, the country that appears to most frequently condemn atheists to death for their beliefs is actually a democracy, if a frail one: Pakistan. Others include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, the West African state of Mauritania, and the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean.
  8. ^ "Laws Criminalizing Apostasy". Library of Congress. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  9. ^ "There Are 13 Countries Where Atheism Is Punishable by Death".
  10. ^ "جراتِ تحقیق - ہمتِ کفر ملے جراتِ تحقیق ملے". Archived from the original on 2015-08-29.
  11. ^ "Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan".
  12. ^ "Blasphemy crackdown: FIA arrests 2 suspects from Karachi".
  13. ^ "42 Christians told 'to convert to Islam or face death penalty'". 31 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Pakistan asks Facebook to help fight blasphemy". BBC. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Pakistani student accused of blasphemy beaten to death on campus". Reuters. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2017.

Reference given at Sr.2 and 4 referred to Gallup report wherein people reported as atheist 2%. This figure is wrong and actual is 1%. For reference see original report on link

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit