01/07/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Two years after Pakistan concluded its most recent population census, information regarding the country’s religious minority communities has still not been released. According to minority members of Pakistan’s legislature, the reason for this data being withheld is still unknown.
In 2017, Pakistan held a national population census. According to sources in Pakistan, the data for that census was meant to be published in March 2018. More than two years later, the overall population of Pakistan has been published, but data regarding the country’s religious minority communities is still unknown.
Speaking to the Indian Express, Dr. Ramesh Vankwani, a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, said, “Pakistan’s latest population census was conducted in 2017, but data for minority count is still awaited. We are unaware of the reason.”
According to the latest population data available, from the 1998 census, Christians make up 1.59% of Pakistan’s total population and hail mostly from the country’s Punjab province. Leading up to the 2017 census, Christian leadership pushed their community to participate in the census to make sure their community was properly counted.
The lack of accurate data regarding minorities is very important in Pakistan. With data regarding religious minority communities withheld, minority activists are unable to accurately decipher whether minorities are being properly represented in government, educational institutions, and in the workplace. Pakistan must release this important data and insure that their minority communities, including the country’s Christians, are being treated as equal citizens.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].