by Steph Woods
Nearly 94% of the population in the Philippines say they adhere to the teachings of Jesus Christ, compared to 88% in the United States. Similar surveys about belief in God have been conducted in countries with Christian majorities, for several consecutive years. The Philippines actually ranked 5th in the world.
Christianity was said to have been introduced in the Philippines during the 1500s with the arrival of Spanish colonizers. Prior religious practices included Animism, based on the existence of non-human “spiritual beings” or similar kinds of embodied principles. Protestant missionary societies were established after the end of Spanish rule in 1898. Protestant missionaries and educators have widely influenced the Philippines while building schools, clinics, hospitals and colleges. Today, the Philippines is the only predominately Christian country in south-east Asia with Catholicism being the dominant form of Christianity.
In the Philippines and around the world, religion is not a simple belief system, but a combination of experiences, rituals and ceremonies that provide continuity in life, cohesion in the community, and moral purpose for existence. Jesus is our purpose for existence.
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