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[ Pakistan Religious Identity Online Survey 2012] Faria Syed, Jahanzaib Haque, Shaheryar Popalzai

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[ Pakistan Religious Identity Online Survey 2012]Faria Syed, Jahanzaib Haque, Shaheryar Popalzai

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Pakistan Religious Identity Online Survey 2012tribune.com.pk

Prepared By: The Express Tribune Web Desk Sybrid: Zainul Abedin, Syed Sultan, Umair Alam, Arsalan Ali & Agha Imran

February 2012

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SummaryA majority of online Pakistanis (49%) say that they consider themselves Muslim first and Pakistani second (28%) according to a survey conducted by The Express Tribune. Results showed that expats felt their identity was were more Pakistani than Muslim. The survey was designed to test online Pakistanis (locals and expats) on three different scales--- level of tolerance, level of religiosity and adherence to tradition. While 77% of online Pakistanis expressed a belief in a being that created existence only 46 per cent of online Pakistanis said they identified themselves as a religious person. 75% said they believed in the existence of Heaven and Hell. A majority of Muslims respondents (63%) agreed to the statement that Pakistanis are not perfect but our religion is superior to others. In a core finding related to tolerance, 66% of Pakistanis voted against the need to influence others to share their set of beliefs. However, only 11% of total respondents said they would experiment with other belief systems. Males and Females Women proved to be more traditional than men with 72% saying that they shared the same religious beliefs as their parents. A large number of male respondents said they had reached their current set of beliefs through research, while a majority of females said that they were raised that way. The online survey found males were more inclined than women to researching new ideas and more willing to explore their beliefs. On the other hand men (36%) felt it was important to influence others when it comes to religion. Locals and Expats The survey found expats exhibited slightly lower religiosity than local respondents. For example the local population showed greater belief in Heaven and Hell, was more regular in prayers and identified more to scripture. Expats were inclined to be more egalitarian than local respondents with reference to religious tolerance. While a majority of expats disagreed with the statement Pakistanis are not perfect but our religion is superior to others 53% of locals agreed with it. Fewer expats (35%) voted in favor of needing God to be moral, compared to locals (44%). A greater number of expats (81%) said they had researched other belief systems, as compared to locals (75%). Muslims and Non-religious groups The sample consisted largely of Muslim respondents and those who identified themselves as nonreligious. While members of other religious communities did respond to the survey their results were too few to be conclusive. In general, the Muslim segment gave very different responses to the nonreligious segment, displaying a greater degree of intolerance and traditional thinking. Interestingly,

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while 72% of Muslims said they had researched other belief systems, a larger majority of the nonreligious segment (92%) said they had researched other belief systems. Education & Age The survey found that those who were older, and those holding a doctorate degree exhibited the greatest degree of tolerance and openness to religious plurality. Older age groups (30+) and doctorate degree holders also exhibited lowest religiosity, suggesting that higher education and greater age results in lower religiosity.

Scope of the researchThe survey was available for three days during January 2012 and The Express Tribune is proud to have obtained over 1,600 results from online Pakistanis and expats. Respondents expressed their opinion on issues related to religious tolerance and spirituality. An online survey cannot provide a completely representative picture of the views held by Pakistanis due to its limited reach. The figures and information presented in this report only provide information about religious perceptions in Pakistan with reference to the online audiences views.

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SAMPLE STATISTICS/LIMITATIONS

What is your age?The survey was filled out by younger people aged under 20 (11% of all surveyed) those aged 20-29 (68% of all surveyed), 3039 (15% of all surveyed) and a small percentage of those over 40 (6% of all surveyed).15% 6% 11% Under 20 20-29 30-39 68% Over 40

The survey captured a disproportionately large number of male responses (78% of total) as compared to female responses (22% of total) reflective of The Express Tribune readership and overall numbers of males to females with online access in Pakistan.

What is your sex?22% Male Female 78%

On the education scale, a large majority (91%) of those surveyed were at or above the undergraduate level, with another 7% in or having completed high school.

What is your education level?2% 4% 7% 41% High school Undergraduate 46% Post graduate Doctorate Other

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Where do you currently live?The survey was largely filled out by local Pakistanis (74%), while expats made up 26% of the results.26% Local Expat 74%

The survey also largely reflects the views of the upper class, upper-middle class and parts of the middle class, with 43% of total respondents citing an average household income of over Rs 100,000 and another 17% citing an income of Rs 75100,000.

Please estimate your monthly household income14% 43% 26% 17% Rs 75-100,000 Less than Rs 30,000 Rs 30-75,000

What religion do you follow?The survey also represents a large number of Muslims (77% of total) and 19% of those identifying as non-religious. Minorities, while represented, have not been analyzed due to the statistically low number of responses.4% 19% Islam Non-religious 77% Minorities

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SURVEY QUESTIONS ANALYSIS1. What do you consider yourself first?

23% Muslim 49% Pakistani Other 28%

Of total respondents, 49% said they consider themselves Muslims first, Pakistani second (28%) while another 23% voted other. Males and females responded similarly to this question. Those under 20 and those 20-29 voted highest (both 53%) for considering themselves Muslims first. Expats voted low (43%) on considering themselves Muslim first, and highest for considering themselves Pakistani first (31%). Only 23% of Muslims said they considered themselves Pakistanis first, with 63% voting Muslim first, and 14% voting other. Those in high school and undergrads voted highest for being Pakistani first (52% and 51% respectively.

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2. Is it necessary to believe in God to be a moral person?

41%

Yes No

59%

Out of the total respondents, a majority (59%) said it was not necessary to believe in God to be a moral person. Both females and males voted in a similar fashion, with 58% and 59% respectively saying it was not necessary to believe in God to be a moral person. Fewer expats (35%) voted in favor of needing God to be moral, compared to locals (44%). There was no significant difference in voting between different ages. One hundred per cent of those who voted as Non-religious said belief in God was not needed to be moral. Those studying in high school and those who had attained a doctorate degree both voted significantly higher against the need for God to be a moral person (68% and 69% respectively) as compared to post grads and undergrads.

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3. Do you practice your faith (e.g. pray) on at least a weekly basis?

37% Yes No 63%

Out of the total respondents, a majority (63%) said they do practice their faith on at least a weekly basis. Both females and males voted identically on this question. Fewer expats (58%) compared to locals (65%) said they practiced their faith on a weekly basis. Those under 20 and age 20-29 voted significantly higher on practicing their faith weekly (62% and 67% respectively) compared to those aged 30-39 and 40 and above (51% and 49% respectively). Those identifying themselves as Muslims voted significantly higher (78%) from those who identified as non-religious (3%). Those holding a doctorate degree voted significantly lower (56%) for practicing their faith on a weekly basis.

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4. Do you feel it is important to influence others to share your set of beliefs?

34% Yes No 66%

A majority of total respondents (66%) voted against the need to influence others to share their set of beliefs. A greater number of male voters (36%) felt it was important to influence others, as compared to female voters (28%). Expats voting in favor of influencing others (29%) were lower than those in the local population (36%) that voted in favor of influencing others. The survey revealed that younger people, under 20 and 20-29 voted slightly higher in favor of influencing others (45% and 35% respectively) compared to those aged 30-39 and 40 and above (28% and 20% respectively). A similar trend was observable in educational background, with those in high school voting highest (38%) in favor of influencing others, compared to undergrads (36%), postgrads (31%) and those with doctorate degrees (29%). Muslims voted higher (38%) compared to non-religious voters (18%) in feeling it was important to influence others to share their set of beliefs.

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5. Do you share the same religious beliefs as your parents?

33% Yes No 67%

A majority of total respondents (67%) said they do follow the same religious beliefs as those of their parents. A greater number of females (72%) said they followed the beliefs of their parents, as compared to males (65%). Both expats and locals voted identically in this question. Those 40 and above voted lowest (58%) for sharing the same religious beliefs as their parents. A majority of Muslims (82%) said they follow the same religious beliefs as their parents, as compared to the non-religious segment (10%). Those with doctorate degrees voted lowest (56%) for supporting the religious beliefs of their parents.

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6. Do you believe in a greater being more powerful than ourselves that is responsible for us being in existence?

23%

Yes No

77%

A majority of respondents (77%) said they believed in a greater being more powerful than themselves that is responsible for them being in existence. A larger number of females (84%) believed in a higher power, as compared to males (74%). There was no significant difference in voting between expats and locals. Those aged 30-39 and over 40 voted lower (70% and 62% respectively) in belief in a greater being, as compared to those aged under 20 and 20-29 (79% for both). A majority of Muslims (91%) said they belief in a higher being responsible for human existence, as compared to the non-religious segment (21%). Those holding a doctorate degree voted lowest (70%) in belief in a higher power.

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7. Would you experiment with other belief systems?

11%

23%

Yes Maybe No

66%

Only 11% of total respondents said they would experiment with other belief systems, while 23% voted Maybe. Female voted less (8%) in favor of experimenting with other belief systems as compared to males (12%). Both sexes voted evenly (22%) on maybe experimenting with other belief systems. Locals and expats voted in an identical fashion on this question. Those aged 40 and above voted highest (74%) against experimenting with other belief systems. Only 10% of Muslims said they were open to experimenting, while only 13% of non-religious voters said they would experiment with other belief systems. Those with a doctorate degree and those in high school responded highest to being willing to experiment (14% and 13% respectively) as compared to postgrads and undergrads (both 10%).

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8. Do you belong to an organized religious or spiritual group?

20%

Yes No

80%

Only 20% of total respondents said they belonged to an organized religious or spiritual group. Males and females gave identical responses to the question, as did expats and locals. Those aged under 20 had the highest ratio of votes (24%) identifying with an organized religion or spiritual group, with numbers decreasing with each age group. Only 23% of Muslims said they followed an organized religious group, while only 3% of the non-religious segment said they belong to an organized religious or spiritual group.

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9. Do you consider yourself to be a religious person?

46% 54%

Yes No

The vote was roughly split in half between total respondents, with 46% considering themselves a religious person. Males and females responded in a roughly identical fashion on the question, as did expats and locals. Those aged 20-29 showed the highest level (49%) of identification as a religious person. A small majority of Muslims (57%) said they considered themselves a religious person. Only 33% of high school students identified themselves as a religious person.

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10. Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?

25% Yes No

75%

A majority of total respondents (75%) said they believe in Heaven and Hell. A larger number of males (80%) said they believed in Heaven and Hell, as compared to females (74%). The local population showed greater belief in Heaven and Hell (77%) as compared to expats (71%). Those aged under 20 and 20-29 had a greater belief in Heaven and Hell (both 79%) as compared to those 30-39 and over 40 (64% and 59% respectively). A large majority (93%) of Muslims said they believed in Heaven and Hell, while only 6% of the nonreligious segment believed the same. Those holding a doctorate degree had the lowest ratio (63%) of belief in Heaven and Hell.

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11.How would you describe the growth trend over the past 20 years regarding organized religion?

16%

Growing 22% 62% Decreasing About the same

A majority of total respondents (62%) said they felt organized religion was growing since the last 20 years. Another 22% said that organized religion was decreasing, while 16% said they felt organized religion had stayed the same. Females felt that organized religion was growing slightly more (64%) as compared to males (61%). Locals and expats voted in a similar fashion on this question. Those aged 40 and above voted highest (74%) in describing a growing trend in organized religion, followed by those 30-39 (69%), 20-29 (61%) and those under 20 (48%). A majority of Muslims (64%) said organized religion was growing, as compared to the non-religious segment (53%). Those holding a doctorate degree had the highest ratio of votes (29%) indicating a decreasing trend in organized religion over the past 20 years.

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12.Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person?

43% 57%

Yes No

A majority of total respondents (57%) said they consider themselves to be a spiritual person. A greater number of females (65%) said they considered themselves spiritual, as compared to males (54%). Expats and locals voted similarly on this question. Those aged 20-29 voted highest (59%) in considering themselves spiritual. A majority of Muslims (66%) said they were spiritual, as compared to the non-religious segment (31%). Undergrads and those with a doctorate degree voted highest in considering themselves spiritual (both 59%).

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13.Have you researched other belief systems?

23%

Yes No

77%

A large majority of total respondents (77%) said they had researched belief systems other than their own. Males and females responded identically to the question. A greater number of expats (81%) said they had researched other belief systems, as compared to locals (75%). Those aged 40 and above voted highest (83%) for having researched other belief systems. While 72% of Muslims said they had researched, a large majority of the non-religious segment (92%) said they had researched other belief systems. Those holding a doctorate degree voted highest (84%) for having researched other belief systems.

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14.Does the basis of your beliefs relate to some type of written scripture?

34% Yes No 66%

A majority of total respondents (66%) said they based their belief on a type of written scripture. Females had a significantly higher majority (72%) of votes for having their beliefs relate to written scripture, as compared to males (64%). A greater number of locals (67%) said they related to a written scripture as compared to expats (61%). Those under 20 voted highest (73%) in basing their beliefs on written scripture, while those over 40 voted lowest (50%). A large majority of Muslims (82%) said their belief was based on written scripture, compared to the nonreligious segment (4%). Those in high school voted highest (70%) for their beliefs relating to written scripture.

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15.What brought you to your current set of beliefs?

6%

1% 4% Research Raised this way 51% Culture Convenience Other

38%

A majority (51%) of total respondents said they reached their current set of beliefs through research. Another 38% said their current beliefs were based on their upbringing, while 6% said it was based on culture. Four percent said that convenience led them to their current beliefs. A greater number of males (54%) said they used research to reach their beliefs as compared to females (40%). Interestingly, a greater number of females (50%) said they reached their beliefs because they were raised this way, as compared to males (35%). Those aged 30-39 and 40 and above ranked highest (58% and 53% respectively) for using research to reach their set of beliefs. Those under 20 ranked highest (44%) for reaching their beliefs because they were raised this way. Expats ranked highest (58%) for using research. The non-religious group voted highest (89%) in favor of using research in reaching their set of beliefs, as compared to Muslims (41%). Those with doctorate degrees also voted highest (68%) of all groups in using research.

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16.Pakistanis are not perfect but our culture is superior to others

23%

Agree Disagree

77%

Only 23% of total respondents said they believed their culture was superior to others. A marginally greater number of males (24%) said they believed Pakistani culture was superior, as compared to females (20%). Expats generally disagreed with the statement more (83% disagree) compared to the local population (76% disagree). Those aged under 20 agree most (28%) with the notion that Pakistani culture is superior to others, compared to those 20-29 (23%), 30-39 (18%) and those over 40 (15%). Only 27% of Muslims said Pakistani culture was superior to others, while only 4% of the non-religious segment agreed. Those holding a doctorate degree had the highest ratio of votes (88%) against the statement.

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17.Pakistanis are not perfect but our religion is superior to others

51%

49%

Agree Disagree

Out of the total respondents, 49% agreed while 51% disagreed that Pakistanis are not perfect, but the state religion (Islam) is superior to others. Males and females responded identically to this statement. A majority of locals (53%) agreed to the statement, as compared to expats, a majority of whom (61%) disagreed with the statement. A small majority (52%) of those aged 20-29 agreed that Pakistanis are not perfect but their religion was superior, as compared to those aged below 20 (47% agree), 30-39 (38% agree) and 40 and above (40% agree). A majority of Muslims (63%) agreed to the statement, as compared to the non-religious segment (1% agree). Those holding a doctorate degree had the highest ratio of votes (62%) against the notion that Pakistanis are not perfect, but the state religion is superior to others.

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18.Success in life is determined by forces outside our control

35% Agree Disagree 65%

A majority of total respondents (65%) disagreed with the idea that success in life is determined by forces outside their control. Males and females responded similarly to this statement, as did locals and expats. Those aged under 20 expressed the greatest degree of disagreement (72%) with the statement. Only 17% of the non-religious segment agreed that success in life is determined by forces outside their control as compared to 39% of Muslims. Those holding a doctorate degree and post grads voted highest in agreement with the statement (both 37%).