Isn’t the Philippines already a Christian nation?
Yes, the Philippines boasts in being the only Christian nation in Asia. However, due to lack of solid Bible instruction and many traditions, there are millions still unsure of their personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Religion holds a central place in the life of the majority of Filipinos, including Hindus, Buddhists, animists, Muslims, Aglipayans, Protestants and Catholics (ca. 83% are Roman Catholic).
Christianity and Islam have been superimposed on ancient traditions and acculturated. The unique religious blends that have resulted have given rise to numerous and diverse beliefs and extreme non-biblical movements. These movements have attracted thousands of Filipinos, especially in areas like Mindanao. Many have been swept up out of a sense of fraternity and community.
Animism is the term used to describe the indigenous spiritual traditions practiced in the Philippines during pre-colonial times. Today, a handful of the indigenous tribes continue to practice it. The traditions are a collection of beliefs and cultural mores anchored more or less in the idea that the world is inhabited by spirits and supernatural entities, both good and bad, and that respect be accorded to them through nature worship.
Folk religion remains a deep source of comfort, belief and cultural pride among many Filipinos. Animism’s influence, along with superstition, pervade daily life. Elements of folk belief have melded with Christian and Islamic practices to give a unique and often confusing form of religion, often mixed with fear and uncertainty.