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Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Catholicism in the Philippines

“…500 years have passed since the Christian message first arrived in the Philippines. You received the joy of the Gospel... And this joy is evident in your people … We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers. In the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands …”

~ Pope Francis said in his homily of the Mass at the Vatican on March 14, formally opening the yearlong celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Catholicism’s arrival in the Philippines.

A country of 7,641 islands at the sea of southeast Asia with a population of 109 million, of which more than 10 million are migrants living in almost 100 countries across the world.

Why the Pope calls Filipinos “smugglers of faith”? What makes the local Church so unique?

What is the Catholic population in the country? How many dioceses, bishops are there?

All you need to know about the Church in the Philippines in one click
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Church in Indonesia

Capital : Jakarta
Population : 267 million
Catholics : 8 million (3.01 %)
Jurisdictions : 10 Archdioceses, 27 Dioceses, One Military Ordinariate
Parishes : 1320
Major Religions : Islam 87.2%, Christianity 9.9%, Hinduism 1.7%, Buddhism 0.7%, others 0.2%
Christianity in Indonesia started with arrival of Portuguese in the 16th century, who captured Malacca in 1511 to help move missioners to the region. The most notable among them was St. Francis Xavier, who worked in Ambon, Ternate and Morotai Island between 1546 and 1547.

After the Portuguese were expelled from Ternate in 1574, many Catholics in the northern Moluccas were killed. The Dutch East India Company conquered Ambon in 1605 and Catholics were forced to embrace Protestantism.

In 1808, the Dutch authorities allowed European Catholics the freedom of worship, which was later extended to local Catholics. In 1835, the Dutch brought the Church under its direct rule, paying salaries to priests and controlling the appointments. Priests' opposition to this policy resulted in expulsion of all Catholic priests.

Catholic mission resumed only in 19th century with the arrival of the Jesuits, particularly in the island of Flores. They enjoyed freedom to work here because of an 1859 treaty with Portugal. The first ethnic Javanese priest was ordained only in the 20th century in 1926.

Currently, Catholicism and Protestantism are two among the six official religions in the country along with Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

Catholics are found all over the archipelago, but mainly concentrated in Flores, Timor, Central Java, Papua, and among the Chinese groups.

According to the 2018 census, the country has a total population of 267 million people, some 10 percent of the Christians with Protestant faith constitute 7 percent. The 8 million Catholics form 3.01 percent of the population.

Indonesia has 10 Archdioceses, 27 Dioceses and one Military Ordinariate.
Bali
Diocese
Bangka Belitung
Diocese
Central Java
Archdiocese
Diocese
Central Kalimantan
Diocese
East Borneo
Archdiocese
East Java
Diocese
East Nusa Tenggara
Archdiocese
Diocese
Jakarta
Archdiocese
Lampung
Diocese
Maluku
Diocese
Military Ordinariate
Military Ordinariate
North Sulawesi
Diocese
North Sumatra
Archdiocese
Diocese
Papua
Archdiocese
Diocese
Samarinda
Diocese
South Kalimantan
Diocese
South Sulawesi
Archdiocese
South Sumatra
Archdiocese
West Borneo
Archdiocese
Diocese
West Java
Diocese
West Kalimantan
Diocese
West Papua
Diocese
West Sumatra
Diocese
Archdiocese of Indonesia
Archdiocese of Jakarta
Archdiocese of Kupang
Archdiocese of Makassar
Archdiocese of Medan
Archdiocese of Palembang
Archdiocese of Pontianak
Archdiocese of Semarang
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