Religion in Lahore

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It is estimated that the city has a Muslim majority with 96% and Christian minority constitute 3% of the population and rest Sikhs and Hindus constitute the remaining 1%. There is also a small but longstanding Zoroastrian community.[1]


Religion in Lahore District 1941[2]
Religion Percent

Prior to the partition of India in 1947, a third of Lahore's population was Hindu and Sikh. Lahore's Hindus and Sikhs used to reside in 'distinct enclaves'. The city's Hindu and Sikh population left en masse during the partition and shifted to East Punjab and Delhi in India. In the process, Lahore lost its entire Hindu and Sikh population. The emigrants were replaced by Muslim refugees from India. Muslim refugees and locals competed for ownership over abandoned Hindu and Sikh property.[3]

Religious heritage[edit]

According to legend, Lahore was once named Lavapura[4], after Lava, son of Rama, the mythological Hindu figure from the epic Ramayana.[5][6] A vacant temple, the Lava Temple, dedicated to this figure is contained inside the Lahore Fort.[7][8]

The first Persian text on Sufism was written, by Shaykh Abul Hasan 'Ali Hujwiri, in Lahore which became a major source for early Sufi thought and practice. Hujwiri's tomb in Lahore is one of the major Sufi shrines in the subcontinent.[9] Several other leading Sufi saints are buried in Lahore.[10] These Sufi shrines have contributed to making Lahore an important place of pilgrimage.[11] During the Mughal era, several impressive buildings including mosques were constructed, contributing to the city's rich Mughal heritage.[12][13]

The city is also of significant importance to the Sikhs of Punjab region who call it Lahore-Sharif.[14][15] Some of Sikhism's holiest sites are situated inside Lahore.[16]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Largest Christian Community of Pakistan resides in Lahore District". Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Gandhi, Usha (2007-06-01). "Review of Talbot, Ian, Divided Cities: Partition and Its Aftermath in Lahore and Amritsar, 1947-1957". Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  4. ^ Bombay Historical Society (1946). Annual bibliography of Indian history and Indology, Volume 4. p. 257. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
  5. ^ Baqir, Muhammad (1985). Lahore, past and present. B.R. Pub. Corp. p. 22. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Ahmed, Shoaib (16 April 2004). "Hindu, Sikh temples in state of disrepair". Daily Times. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  8. ^ Naqoosh, Lahore Number 1976
  9. ^ Metcalf, Barbara (2009). Islam in South Asia in Practice. Princeton University Press. p. 5.
  10. ^ Malik, Iftikhar. Culture and Customs of Pakistan. p. 154.
  11. ^ Gharipour, Mohammad; Ozlu, Nilay. The City in the Muslim World: Depictions by Western Travel Writers. Routledge. p. 92.
  12. ^ Malik, Iftikhar Haider (2008). The History of Pakistan. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-313-34137-3.
  13. ^ Chandra, Satish (2005). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals Part – II. Har-Anand Publications. p. 365. ISBN 978-81-241-1066-9.
  14. ^ The foreign policy of Pakistan: ethnic impacts on diplomacy, 1971-1994 ISBN 1-86064-169-5 - Mehtab Ali Shah "Such is the political, psychological and religious attachment of the Sikhs to that city that a Khalistan without Lahore would be like a Germany without Berlin."
  15. ^ Amritsar to Lahore: a journey across the India-Pakistan border - Stephen Alter ISBN 0-8122-1743-8 "Ever since the separatist movement gathered force in the 1980s, Pakistan has sided with the Sikhs, even though the territorial ambitions of Khalistan include Lahore and sections of the Punjab on both sides of the border."
  16. ^ "Sikh pilgrims from India arrive in Lahore". Dawn. Pakistan. Retrieved 23 September 2016.