Philippines //

Catholic nation

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Catholicism was introduced to the Philippines in 1521 with the arrival of Magellan, and today around 80 percent of the population is Roman Catholic; just 10 percent is Protestant, 5 to 10 percent Muslim and the remainder Buddhist, animist and other religions. Every barangay, town and city has its patron saint, for whom grand fiestas are held annually, and churches, many beautifully weathered colonial relics, are well attended. Daily life, too, is shot through with Catholic imagery, whether it’s government announcements in the press urging people to pray the rosary, or television footage of god-fearing presidential candidates appealing to the heavens for guidance.

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