In a religiously diverse Asia, Pakistan one of the least diverse: Report

ET: Pakistan ranks among the least religiously diverse countries in a religiously diverse Asian region according to the Religious Diversity Index published by the Pew Research Center on Friday.

The 10-point index, which ranks each country by its level of religious diversity, is divided into four ranges, “very high”, “high”, “moderate”, and “low”. Pakistan ranked among the 136 “low diversity” countries, the largest range on the index indicating that most countries in the world are not religion diverse.

The 12-nation top range of “very high” diversity countries comprised of six from Asia-Pacific – Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, China, and Hong Kong – and five from sub-Saharan Africa – Mozambique, Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, and Togo.

Of the 232 countries in the study, Singapore with a population of more than 5 million had the highest score on the Religious Diversity Index. About a third of Singapore’s population is Buddhist (34%), while 18% are Christian, 16% are religiously unaffiliated, 14% are Muslim, 5% are Hindu and less than 1% are Jewish.

According to the data, Pakistan had the 23rd largest proportional Muslim population at 96.4%, smaller than immediate neighbours Afghanistan and Iran, but larger than Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

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