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Sikh devotees light candles at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India on June 25, 2021. (Narinder Nanu/AFP via Getty Images)
Most Popular Religion In India
Most of India’s population is diverse and religious. Not only is India home to the majority of the world’s Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, it is also home to one of the world’s largest Muslim populations and millions of Christians and Buddhists.
Religious Beliefs Across India
Based on a face-to-face survey of 29,999 Indian adults in late 2019 and early 2020 – before the Covid-19 pandemic – a new Pew Research Center report takes a closer look at religiosity, nationalism and tolerance among Indians. Samaj surveys were conducted by local surveyors in 17 languages and covered almost all states and territories of India. Here are the new findings from the report.
“Religion in India: Tolerance and Segregation” is the Pew Research Center’s most comprehensive study of Indian public opinion to date. For this report, we completed 29,999 face-to-face interviews in 17 languages with adults aged 18 and above living in 26 Indian states and three Union Territories. The sample consisted of interviews with 22,975 Hindus, 3,336 Muslims, 1,782 Sikhs, 1,011 Christians, 719 Buddhists and 109 Jains. An additional 67 people were from other or different religions. Interviews for this national representative survey were held from November 17, 2019 to March 23, 2020.
All major religious groups as well as all major regions of India were selected using probability sampling design for intensive analysis. Six groups were targeted for sampling beyond the survey design: Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and those living in the Northeast. The data were weighted to account for the possibility of cross-selection among the 2011 census respondents and to match the demographic parameters of the Indian adult population.
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Indians value religious tolerance, even if they are religiously divided. Across the country, a majority (84%) say that respect for all religions is essential to being a “true Indian”. Respect for Indians is also part of this
Religious organizations (80%). People from the six major religious groups say they are very free to practice their religion, and a majority say people from other religions are very free to practice theirs.
But Indians’ commitment to tolerance prefers to keep religious communities separate. For example, Indians generally say they have little in common with members of other religious groups, and a majority of six groups say their closest friends are from the same community. it has its own. This is true not only for India’s large Hindu population of 86%, but also for smaller groups such as Sikhs (80%) and Jains (72%).
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Additionally, about two-thirds of Hindus say it is very important to prevent Hindu women (67%) or Hindu men (65%) from intermarrying. A large proportion of Muslims also oppose interfaith marriage: 80% say it is very important to prevent Muslim women from marrying outside their religion, and 76% say it is very important to prevent Muslim men will not do that.
For many Hindus, national identity, religion and language are closely related. Almost two-thirds of Hindus (64%) say that being a Hindu is very important to being an authentic Indian. Reading in Hindu Thana is very important
Hindus who strongly associate Hinduism with Indianness express a strong desire for religious separation. For example, 76% of Hindus who say that being Hindu is very important to being a true Indian feel that preventing Hindu women from intermarrying is very important. In comparison, 52% of Hindus who value the role of Hinduism in their Indian identity do not have this view of religious marriage.
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Additionally, Hindus in the northern (69%) and central (83%) regions of the country are more likely to associate Hinduism with national identity than those in the southern region. (42%). Together, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh make up the country’s “Hindi belt”, where Hindi, one of the dozens of languages spoken in India, is the dominant language. Most of the Hindus in these areas can speak Hindi with Indian identity.
In Hinduism, the idea of nationhood goes hand in hand with politics. Support for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is high among Hindus, who closely associate their religious identity and the Hindi language with their Indian identity. In the 2019 national elections, 60% of Hindu voters feel that being a Hindu is very important
Hindi speakers voted for the BJP as the most Indian, compared to 33% of Hindu voters who felt less strongly about these two aspects of national identity. The view also reflects regional support for the BJP, which tends to be higher in the north and central parts of the country than in the south.
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Dietary laws are central to Indian religious identity. Hindus consider the cow sacred, and laws against cow slaughter have recently become a thing of the past in India. Almost three-quarters of Hindus in India (72%) say that one cannot be a Hindu if one eats beef. This is greater than the share of Hindus who say they cannot be Hindus unless they believe in God (49%) or have never been to a temple (48%).
Similarly, three-quarters of Indian Muslims (77%) say that one cannot be a Muslim if one eats pork, compared to those who say one cannot be a Muslim if one does not believe of God (60%) or none at all. . Mosque attendees (61%).
Muslims welcome access to their religious courts. Since 1937, Muslims in India have had the option of settling family and inheritance matters in Islamic courts known as Dar-ul-Qa’ja. These courts are overseen by religious judges known as qazis, and although their decisions are not legally binding, they operate under the principles of Sharia. .
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Allowing them to go to their religious courts was debated. The survey found that three-quarters of Muslims (74%) support access to the existing Islamic judicial system, but followers of other religions are less likely to support Muslim access to this independent judicial system. this.
Muslims are more likely than Hindus to say that the 1947 partition that created the independent states of India and Pakistan damaged Hindu-Muslim relations. More than seven decades after the partition of the Indian subcontinent into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan at the end of British colonial rule, the prevailing view among Indian Muslims is that the division of the continent is bad for Hindu-Muslim relations. (48%). Only three in ten Muslims say this is a good thing.
Hindus, however, tend in the opposite direction: 43% of Hindus say that secession is good for Hindu-Muslim relations, while 37% say it is harmful. Sikhs, whose historic homeland was divided by the partition of Punjab, are more likely than Muslims to say the move was bad for Hindu-Muslim relations: two-thirds of Sikhs (66%) takes this position.
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India’s caste system, an ancient social hierarchy rooted in Hindu scriptures, continues to divide society. Whether they are Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists or Jains, Indians are almost of the same status. Members of lower castes have historically faced discrimination and unequal economic opportunities, but studies have found that most people—including most members of lower castes— says that
There is a lot of caste discrimination in India. The Indian constitution prohibits caste-based discrimination, including untouchability, and in recent decades has implemented economic development policies such as reserved seats in universities and colleges. the government works for the members of the lower caste communities of the government.
However, a majority of Indians (70%) say that most or all of their close friends share the same caste. They are opposed to interfaith marriages, with a large proportion (64%) of Indians
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It is important to prevent women from their own community from marrying into another caste and the same share (62%) find it very important to prevent men from their own community from marrying from another caste different. These numbers are different for different species.
Conversion is rare in India; Until then, Hindus gain as much as they lose. The conversion of lower castes to other religions away from Hinduism, especially Christianity, is controversial in India and some states have anti-conversion laws. However, this study finds that religious conversion has little effect on the size of religious groups. Across India, 98% of survey respondents gave the same answer when asked to identify their current religion and their childhood religion.
The general pattern of stability in the share of religious groups is that there is generally little change from migration into or out of religious groups. Among Hindus, for example, out-group conversions are matched by in-group conversions: 0.7% of respondents said they grew up Hindu but now know it’s something other, and the same proportion (0.8%) says.
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