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Nearly 70% Pakistanis support Christians to build churches

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ISLAMABAD, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) — As many as 69 percent of Pakistanis believed that Christians in Muslim countries like Pakistan should be allowed to construct churches for worship, a survey said on Friday.

The remaining 31 percent either did not support the idea or gave no response, according to a Gilani Research Foundation survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan.

The question was asked in the wake of the news that a majority of the Swiss voters had supported to ban the building of mosques with minarets in its neighborhoods.

A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the country were asked “In your opinion, in Muslim countries like Pakistan, where Christians are in minority, should they be allowed to build church or not?” Sixty nine percent claimed to be in the favor of letting Christians build their own public worship sites, while 29 percent are against it. The remaining 2 percent of the respondents did not respond.

The findings of the survey revealed that a proportionately higher percentage of ruralites, and Pakistani men are slightly more tolerant towards the right of minorities to worship.

Interestingly, the data also showed that contrary to what is popularly perceived about the residents of the North West Frontier Province, a vast majority believed that Christian minorities have a right to worship and the governments of Muslim countries like Pakistan should allow the construction of their churches.

The study was released by Gilani foundation and carried out by Gallup Pakistan, the Pakistani affiliate of Gallup International. The latest survey was carried out among a sample of 2,740 men and women in rural and urban areas of all four provinces of the country.

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