||: 108.7 million
||: 80.41 million (80.41 %)
||: 16 Archdioceses, 62 Dioceses, Seven Apostolic Vicariates, One Military Ordinariate
||: Christianity 91.3%, Islam 5.5%, Others 3.2%
Christianity reached the Philippines in the 16th century with the arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his men in 1521.
Soon after, Spain occupied the Islands and began to teach Filipinos about the Christian faith.
In 1599, a number of tribal chieftains agreed to submit to the rule of the Spanish king and in return, the natives were introduced to Christianity and were protected from their enemies, mostly Japanese, Chinese, and Muslim pirates.
The Spanish efforts to spread Christianity in the archipelago met with several hurdles. Inadequate number of missionaries to preach to a population scattered in the islands, and the seemingly endless varieties of local languages and dialects were problems to the missioners.
By the end of 16th century, each major religious congregation working in the archipelago agreed to cover a specific area to deal with the vast dispersion of the natives.
In 1898, with the coming of the Americans, the government implemented the separation of the Church and state. It significantly reduced the political power exerted by the Church, and paved way for the growth of other religions, particularly Protestantism.
Today, the Philippines is a Christian majority country. According to the 2018 census, it has 108.7 million people, 80.41 percent of them are Christians. Most of the Christians are Catholics, making the country one of Asia's two Catholic majority nations. The other is East Timor.
Catholic religious congregations in the country are active in all levels of education and manage hundreds of secondary and primary schools as well as a number of colleges and internationally known universities.
Many Catholic bishops are also politically influential.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines openly opposed Ferdinand Marcos who placed the Philippines under martial law in the 1970’s.
In 1986 the then Archbishop of Manila Jaime Sin appealed for people to oust Marcos. The people's response became what is now known as the People Power Revolution that established democracy in the country.
The Church in the Philippines is organized into 16 Archdioceses, 62 Dioceses, as well as seven Apostolic Vicariates and a Military Ordinariate.