Having many religion sectors in the Philippines was a result of the visitations of different nationalities in the Philippines and each nationality leave an influenced in the Philippines and one of those is the religion beliefs.
The Philippines is known as the only catholic country in South East Asia but despite as being known as a Catholic country, The Philippines has many religion sectors in its entire region. Aside from Catholic religion, Muslims are very well known because of its big population. Other religion sectors are Christians, Member of Iglesia Ni Cristo, Adventists, Protestants, Aglipayans, Hindus, Buddhist, Agnostics, animist and even Atheists.
Catholicism is the biggest influence of the Spanish in the Philippines. The Spanish brought Catholicism when they tried to conquer the Philippine Islands. As Catholic, they had to practice going to church every Sunday to hear mass led by a priest and some Catholics who are praying for something do novena to a saint and ask for their help. Black Nazarene, Misa de Gallo and Feast of the Saints are some of the Catholics’ traditions. Catholic has 80% of the population as of 1998.
Muslims are mostly found in Mindanao, they are the one who pray to Allah and their holy book is called Koran. Today, Muslims are not only found in Mindanao but in other places in the Philippines. Today, Muslims tradition is being respected by the previous government of the Philippines by declaring Holidays during their Ramadan celebration. Muslims has 7% of the population as of 2001.
Iglesia Ni Cristo
Other than Catholic and Muslims, Iglesia Ni Cristo is also known at the Philippines. According to beliefs it was founded by a man named Felix Manalo, He died on April 12, 1963. This religion sect is considered as the most influential religion sector because whoever they decided to vote for on the elections has a hundred percent guarantee on the position. Iglesia Ni Cristo has unity and the members followed whatever their leader tells them to do. Their teachings are based on Jesus teachings and according to what the Bible says. Iglesia Ni Cristo members are estimated over millions and going globally. Iglesia Ni Cristo or also known as INC has a population of 3,000,000 as of 1999 and at least 2 million in Metro Manila as of 2000.
Aglipayan or Aglipay religion sector started on 1902 when some members of Catholic Church separated themselves to church because of the mistreatment of the Spanish priest to the Filipinos. One of the leaders is Isabelo de los Reyes; he suggested that Gregorio Aglipay a former Catholic priest will be the head of their newly found church. Their religion sector was named after their head. The population as of 1918 was 13% of the population and in the year 1998 its population was 2,574,000.
The religion Protestantism came to Philippines when the time the Americans stayed in the Philippines. It was established during 20th century. Protestant population was 8% of the population as of 1990.
Christians are basically the same with other religions who follows the teachings of the bible. The difference is they do not honor Mama Mary and other saints and their being lead by a pastor. Christians’ population was 8.7% of the population as of 1990.
Seventh Day Adventist
Same with other religion sectors, Adventist was lead by a pastor, the difference is they pay respect to God every Saturday because they considered Saturday as the 7th day of the creation. They also follow the teachings of the bible and don’t eat pork. Adventist’s population was 181,241 as of year 2000.
Hinduism and Buddhism
Hinduism and Buddhism were influenced by other Asians countries that visit to the Philippines in the early years. They are the one who believes in other Gods like Buddha. Buddhism has 2% of the population while Hinduism was recorded to have 21 million populations.
THE PRESENT SITUATION OF THE PHILIPPINES RELIGION SECTORS
The numbers of population of each religion sectors increases and decreases each year because many Filipinos converted to other Religion because of many reasons. There are some Religion Sectors who have rules about marrying a certain person. For example, a girl has a religion that applies this rule, her future husband should have the same religion as her and if not, he has to convert to her religion. In that way their number of members will increase. Other way of increasing their members is by preaching their beliefs to other people and convinces others that their belief is better than other Religion Sector. There are also new Religion Sectors that is surfacing today. But the real thing is whatever the person’s religion, they still share one common thing, they all believe in God.