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Good Friday celebration PhilippinesGood Friday celebration PhilippinesPhoto: Istolethetv CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

That the majority of Filipinos adhere to the Roman Catholic faith is a direct result of Spanish colonial rule and the associated missionary work. In everyday practice it meant interweaving all kinds of aspects of Christianity with animistic traditions and customs.

Approx. 83% of the population is Roman Catholic and the total number of Christians is even 94%. The Philippines distinguishes itself in this respect from all countries in Southeast Asia, because they mainly adhere to religions such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

In the early 20th century, several other Christian faiths emerged, the most important of which were of Filipino origin.

Iglesia Filipina IndependienteIglesia Filipina IndependientePhoto: KisekiLacroix CC 4.0 International no changes made

In 1902, Gregorio Aglipay founded the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Independent Church of the Philippines) as an offshoot of the official Roman Church. About 4% of the population adheres to this Catholic variant, which is separate from the Vatican, but adheres to the Roman Catholic liturgy. Approx. 1% of the population is a supporter of the Protestant Iglesia ni Kristo, founded in 1914 by Felix Manalo. This religion has been strongly influenced by American Protestantism.

Small groups of Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians settled in the Philippines, particularly from the United States.

Long before Catholicism entered the islands of the Philippines, Islam had already penetrated there. Catholicism has pushed Islam back to the islands of the Sulu Archipelago and parts of Palawan and Mindanao. The Muslim minority in these southern islands amounts to a total of 4.6% of the population.

Filipinos of Chinese descent adhere to Taoism and Buddhism; immigrants from India are a Hindu minority. Traditional animistic customs and practices are still adhered to by a small minority of Filipinos.


Het Spectrum

Lonely Planet

Poppe, D. / Reishandboek Filippijnen

Rodell, P.A. / Culture and customs of the Philippines
Greenwood Press

Wee, J. / Philippines
Chelsea House

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info