RELIGION LIBRARY

Philippines

COUNTRY PROFILE

Map of Philippines

The country has an area of 115,831 square miles and a population of 97.98 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'a Muslims 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).

Population Population (2009 est.) 97,976,603
Religious Demographics Roman Catholic 80.9%, Muslim 5%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan (Anglican) 2%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1% (2000 census)
Ethnic Groups Ethnic Groups Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3% (2000 census)
Languages Languages Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan
Country Flag Flag of Philippines