This is for the first time in the history of Pakistan (Lahore) that a survey is accomplished in order to analyze the socioeconomic conditions of Christians in Lahore. Socioeconomic factors addressed in this research are education, population, employment, nature of jobs, income and business features. A Survey is carried out in ten most populated localities of Christians in Lahore, where results are compiled after surveying 403 families and 1723 individuals. Purpose of this research is to determine facts about ground realities of Christians residing in Lahore Pakistan and see whether Christians of Lahore are socially and economically better off or not. Research implies keen interest in policy formulization for Christians not only at individual and family level but also at government altitude. Based upon profound and robust survey strange and shocking facts are determined regarding socioeconomics conditions of Christians of Lahore (Pakistan).
Christians in Lahore
Literacy rate of Christians in Lahore is 70% if we consider 5th class as selection criteria of a literate people but if we increase this criteria and say that an individual is literate in Pakistan if he/she can read and write after getting education up to 10th standard then the literacy rate of Christian in Lahore will be 29%. In Lahore out of total literate Christian people the percentage of PhD, masters and graduate individuals is 0.38%, 3% and 9% respectively. These results about the education conditions clearly explain that Christians of Lahore don’t have access to educational potential, thus required huge investment from both private and public sector for the education of Christians, especially at graduate and masters level. Apart from this Christian families also need to realize the importance of education in current world and should provide their offspring with education in order to develop and progress.
If we talk about the population structure of Christians, in given sample male and female has 52 and 48 percent share respectively, furthermore 25% of the Christian population in Lahore has age limit from 15 and below, 38% of the Christians has age from 16-30 years, Christian people having age limit from 31-45 years are 24% in numbers, while just 13% of the population is above 45 years. Labor force is considered as having the age limit of 16-60 and our survey regards that Christian community in Lahore has about 71% population as labor force. According to these statistics Christians of Lahore has greater fraction of youth and labor force reflecting healthier amount of human capital which should be utilized in an effective way for the improvement of Christian community of Lahore.
Effective utilization means proper education, skilled training and job opportunities. By looking at the job opportunities it is clear that Christians of Lahore are dejected where out of stated Labor force employment rate of Christians in Lahore is 33% which 29% of the Christians of Lahore are unemployed which highlights the high unemployed rate. And due to this high unemployment rate many Christians are involved in drug mafia and criminal activities, clearly indicating that ignorance of social rights leads towards social value deprivation. Further investigation states that 94% of the employed people serve in private sector and 6% of the Christians are working on public jobs. Nature of jobs illuminates that out of total employed Christians majority of the population is involved in sanitation. Under the light of these results rapid action is required for the creation of better job opportunities for Christians not only in private sector but also in government sector. Quota system for Christians on government jobs should be designed and expanded with firm application.
Due to lack of job opportunities income condition of Christians is also miserable, where the average monthly income of a family (average five individuals) is 12,333 rupees ($138). Per-capita daily income in a family is $0.92 which is well below the poverty line. Out of this monthly income 67% of the individuals higher spending is on food items while just 9% of the individuals in our sample invest greater portion of budget on education. Private sector also needs to come forward and play its part and set quota system for Christians and should hire them without any discrimination because no nation can progress until it give proper rights to its minorities and Christians are the largest minority in Pakistan. Similarly, the involvement of Christian people in business sector is trifling. Percentage share of Christian businessmen is about 1.15% of the total Christian population in Lahore. To overcome this problem faced by Christians in Lahore, government and private sector should provide micro financing schemes especially targeting to Christians in order to give them chance to flourish and contribute for the economic prosperity of Pakistan.
Under the light of these facts it is obvious that socio-economic conditions of Christians in Lahore are alarming. Christian community lacks qualified people, employment rate is insufficient, job opportunities for Christians in public sector are less and due to lack of education and skills income level is very low. These outcomes about Christian community in Lahore ask for keen interest in improving the socio-economic indicators to uplift the Christian community specifically in Lahore and generally in Pakistan.