Factsheet: Persecution of Hindus

Below is a factsheet on the persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Hindu Refugees
Hindu Refugees


  • The proportion of Hindus in Bangladesh has fallen from approximately 28% of the population in 1941 (pre-partition) to only 8.5% in 2011.
  • According to statistics presented in the Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mohajote annual report in 2020, there has been an increase in the number of Hindus killed, injured, abducted, converted and raped between 2015-2020.
  • In October 2021, systematic attacks were launched against Hindu temples throughout Bangladesh with a total of 85 temples attacked, according to research carried out by the Centre for Integrated & Holistic Studies.
  • Hindu Rights Watch issued a warning after an angry mob attacked a Hindu temple in Comilla on October 15 2021 during the festival of Durga Puja. This attack started a wave of other attacks against Hindu homes, temples and people across the country.


  • In the 1970s, there were approximately 700,000 Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan – while no official numbers are currently available, it is estimated that this number today stands at around 3,000.
  • Most of the Hindu and Sikh Afghans have relocated to India – one interviewee said that there used to be around 100 families in Khost (a province in Eastern Afghanistan) before they all relocated.
  • An investigation by TOLOnews reveals that the Sikh and Hindu population number was 220,000 in the 1980s. That number dropped sharply to 15,000 when the mujahideen was in power during the 1990s and remained at that level during the Taliban regime. It is now estimated that only 1,350 Hindus and Sikhs remain in the country.


Many members of minority communities particularly Hindus, are leaving for safer lands. Between January 2013 and June 2014, 3,753 Pakistanis surrendered their passports and obtained long-term visas for India. The state continues to fail to provide protection to its religious minority communities.

  • In 1941, Hindus in Pakistan accounted for approximately 14% of the population. Today, that number stands at 4.5 million, accounting for around 2.1%, according to the 2017 Pakistani census.
  • There have been 702 cases registered against minorities, which equates to 52% of total cases against 4% of the population of Pakistan.
  • In March 2021, a 100 year old Hindu temple in Purana Qila, Rawalpindi was attacked by a mob of 15 unidentified individuals.
  • In June 2020, the construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad was attacked and stopped, even though they had obtained permission from local authorities.
  • Every year, approximately 1000 girls from minority groups in Pakistan are forcably converted to Islam. In the feudal Kashmore region of southern Sindh province, 13-year-old Sonia Kumari was kidnapped, and a day later police told her parents she had converted from Hinduism to Islam.

In January 2021, Pakistani authorities sacked a local police chief and 11 other policemen for failing to protect a Hindu temple that was attacked by mobs of hundreds in the Karak district.


  1. https://cihs.blog/2021/10/26/bangladesh-violence-against-hindus/
  2. Data can be accessed via the link in footnote 1.
  3. https://cihs.blog/2021/10/26/bangladesh-violence-against-hindus/
  4. https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/10/21/bangladesh-deadly-attacks-hindu-festival
  5. https://hindupost.in/world/the-decline-of-afghanistans-hindu-and-sikh-communities/
  6. As above
  7. https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/nearly-99-hindus-sikhs-left-afghanistan-last-three-decades
  8. https://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/blasphemy-laws-and-human-rights-in-pakistan/
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_in_Pakistan#:~:text=While%20Hinduism%20was%20one%20of,Pakistan%2C%20making%20up%204%25%20of
  10. As above
  11. https://www.dawn.com/news/1615228
  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foi-itYDUOc
  13. https://www.voanews.com/a/south-central-asia_each-year-1000-pakistani-girls-forcibly-converted-islam/6200096.html
  14. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/15/pakistan-fires-12-police-officers-for-not-protecting-hindu-temple