The Pew Research Centre conducted a large study on India that found 84 percent of Indians say respecting all religions is very important if you want to be ‘truly Indian’. 29.99% of adults in India were surveyed, and the study determined that all of them believe respecting other faiths is a very important aspect of living.
Six major religious groups claimed that they were ‘free to practice their faith’ as well as people of other religions. Research was conducted in 2019 and in early 2020 before the Coronavirus pandemic. One-third of Buddhists said that they do not believe in God, while nearly 97 per cent of Indians believe in God and 80 per cent of people across religious groups believe that God exists.
Interestingly, Pew research found that India’s religious groups share a number of religious practices and beliefs. Sikhs make up 29 percent of the population, 22 percent of Christian women, and 18 percent of Muslim women wear bindis (markings on the forehead of married women), although they are Hindu symbols, with Muslims, Hindus, and Christians believing in Karma. Additionally, several Hindus who are members of the majority believe that Muslims and Christians celebrate festivals on the same days. This study further revealed that 48 percent of Muslim Indians oppose Muslim courts being accessible to Hindus.
Nearly 72 percent of those surveyed said a person cannot be a Hindu if they eat beef, while 77 percent said that a person cannot be a Muslim if they eat pork. According to the research, close friends of Indian citizens are mostly or entirely from their own religious community. However, they have a different view when it comes to inter-religious marriages. Interfaith marriages are not preferred by either the Hindus or the Muslims, with the majority in both communities opposing them.