Religious Demographic Profile

According to the 2000 Philippine Census1, 92.6% of its population of 80 million is Christian. Christian groups in the population include Catholics (81.0%), Protestants (7.3%), Iglesia ni Kristos (2.3%) and Aglipayans (2.0%). The next largest group is Muslims (5.1%). Other groups reported by the Census include tribal religions (0.2%) and Buddhists (0.1%).

Religious Affiliation, Censuses
Roman Catholic81.0%83.891.5
Iglesia ni Kristo2.3%1.0
a. Accessed at http://www.census.gov.ph/data/pressrelease/cent-qs.html.
b. Percentage for 2000 includes tribal religions. Previous Census data did not have this category.

The percentage of Christians in the population remained constant during the 20th century.2 The percentage of Catholics, however, has declined by approximately 10.5 percentage points. The decrease in the Catholic share of the population reflects the increasing number of Protestant, Aglipayan3 and Iglesia ni Kristo4 churches. The Muslim and Buddhist shares of the population have remained fairly stable since 1960.


The Forum's 2006 survey of adults 18 years and older was based on a national probability sample of the adult population.5 In the survey, 96% identified as Christian, including 80% Catholic, 10% Protestant, 2% Iglesia ni Kristo, 1% Aglipayan, 1% Jehovah's Witnesses, less than 1% Mormon and 2% from other Christian groups. Other groups represented in the survey include 4% Muslim and less than 1% who identified themselves as having no religion or other.

In the Forum's 2006 survey, less than one-in-twenty respondents indicated they belong to a pentecostal denomination. Four-in-ten identified as charismatic, including more than four-in-ten Catholics. Nearly seven-in-ten Protestants interviewed indicated they were either pentecostal or charismatic.

Renewalists in the Philippines, Forum 2006 Survey
Total Population44%440


1Archived at http://unstats.un.org/.
2The 1903 Census divided the population into "civilized" (91.5%) and "wild" (8.5%). Though these terms are imprecise, derogatory and antiquated, they provide valuable religious adherence information. According to the National Statistics Office of the Philippines, "Civilized people, with the exception of those of foreign birth, were practically all adherents of the Catholic Church by 1903 Census definitions," http://www.census.gov.ph.
3The Aglipayan church separated from the Roman Catholic Church more than a century ago. It is also known as the Philippine Independent Church.
4The Iglesia ni Kristo church (trans: "Church of Christ") originated in the Philippines in the early 20th century. It is nontrinitarian and does not accept the divinity of Christ.
5See the introduction to the survey report for a discussion of survey methodology and definitions.



Religious Landscape Survey

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