Philippines
 National Profiles > > Regions > South-Eastern Asia > Philippines
Search National Profiles:

Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1

Philippines South-Eastern Asia World
Baha'i 0.3% 0.2% 0.1%
Buddhist 0.1% 26.8% 7.2%
Chinese Universalist <0.1% 1.9% 6.3%
Christian 90.9% 22.1% 32.8%
Confucianist <0.1% 0.2% 0.1%
Ethnoreligionist 2.3% 4.6% 3.5%
Hindu <0.1% 1.2% 13.8%
Jain 0.0% <0.1% <0.1%
Jewish <0.1% <0.1% 0.2%
Muslim 5.3% 36.8% 22.5%
Shintoist 0.0% <0.1% <0.1%
Sikh <0.1% <0.1% 0.3%
Spiritist 0.0% 0.0% 0.2%
Taoist 0.0% <0.1% 0.1%
Zoroastrian 0.0% <0.1% <0.1%
Neoreligionists <0.1% 2.3% 0.9%
Atheist 0.2% 1.1% 2.0%
Agnostic 0.7% 2.9% 9.8%

Religious Demography2

The country has an area of 115,831 square miles and a population of 88.6 million.

According to the National Statistics Office, approximately 93 percent of the population is Christian. Roman Catholics, the largest religious group, comprise 80 to 85 percent of the total population.

Islam is the largest minority religion, and Muslims constitute between 5 and 9 percent of the total population. Most Muslims are members of various ethnic minority groups, commonly referred to as Moros. They reside principally on Mindanao and nearby islands. Although most belong to the Sunni branch of Islam, a small number of Shi'as live in the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Zamboanga del Sur in Mindanao.

Groups that together constitute less than 5 percent of the population include Seventh-day Adventists, United Church of Christ, United Methodist, the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, Assemblies of God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and Philippine (Southern) Baptists. Domestically established denominations include the Philippine Independent Church (Aglipayan), the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ), and the Members Church of God International.

Christianity is the majority religion among indigenous peoples. Between 12 million and 16 million indigenous persons adhere to Catholicism or Protestantism, often incorporating elements of traditional indigenous belief systems.

Conversion from Christianity to Islam is most typical among overseas Filipinos who have lived and worked in Islamic countries, largely because conversion brings social and economic benefits while abroad. Many of these "converts of convenience" remain Muslim upon their return to the country and are known collectively as "Balik Islam" (return to Islam).

Sources

Note: The World Christian Database (WCD) estimates, used in the Religious Adherents section above, count each person as belonging to a maximum of one religious group. For more information, see the WCD methodology document. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom report estimates, used in the Religious Demography section, use less restrictive criteria in which a person who identifies with more than one religion is classified as a follower of each. In certain cases (such as Japan and other nations with strong folk religion traditions), this can cause counts to vary widely between estimates. Users are advised to consult the relevant source documents before determining which counts to cite.

1.  The World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on World religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.