Religion in the Philippines

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Template:Life in the Philippines

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}} Religion in the Philippines are spiritual beliefs held by Philippine citizens. Religion holds a central place in the life of the majority of Filipinos, including Jewish, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Protestants and animists. It is central not as an abstract belief system, but rather as a host of experiences, rituals, ceremonies, and adjurations that provide continuity in life, cohesion in the community and moral purpose for existence. Religious associations are part of the system of kinship ties, patron-client bonds and other linkages outside the nuclear family.<ref name=Dolan1991 />

Christianity and Islam have been superimposed on ancient traditions and acculturated. The unique religious blends that have resulted, when combined with the strong personal faith of Filipinos, have given rise to numerous and diverse revivalist movements. Generally characterized by antimodern bias, supernaturalism, and authoritarianism in the person of a charismatic messiah figure, these movements have attracted thousands of Filipinos, especially in areas like Mindanao, which have been subjected to extreme pressure of change over a short period of time. Many have been swept up in these movements, out of a renewed sense of fraternity and community. Like the highly visible examples of flagellation and reenacted crucifixion in the Philippines, these movements may seem to have little in common with organized Christianity or Islam. But in the intensely personalistic Philippine religious context, they have not been aberrations so much as extreme examples of how religion retains its central role in society.<ref name=Dolan1991>{{

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Contents

Ancient indigenous beliefs

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Main article{{#if:Anito|s}}: Philippine mythology{{#if:Anito
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Animism, for lack of better terminology, can be used to describe the indigenous spiritual traditions practiced by people in the Philippines during pre-colonial times. Today, only a handful of the indigenous tribes continue to practice it. It is a collection of beliefs and cultural mores anchored 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. These spirits all around nature are known as "diwatas", showing cultural relationship with Hinduism (Devatas). Some worship specific deities, such as the Tagalog supreme deity, Bathala, and his children Adlaw, Mayari, and Tala, or the Visayan deity Kan-Laon; while others practice Ancestor worship (anitos). Variations of animistic practices occur in different ethnic groups. Magic, chants and prayers are often key features. Its practitioners were highly respected{{fix-{{#switch:{{{style}}} |box|page=box |line|section=line |inline|#default=inline}} |{{#if:|image=}} |{{#if:|size=}} |{{#if:WikiPilipinas:Citing sources|link=WikiPilipinas:Citing sources}} |{{#if:noprint Template-Fact|class=noprint Template-Fact}} |{{#if:This claim needs references to reliable sources|title=This claim needs references to reliable sources}} |{{#if:|pre-text=}} |{{#if:citation needed|text=citation needed}} |{{#if:|post-text=}} |{{#if:|special=}} |{{#if:April 2008|date=April 2008}} |cat= |{{#if:|cat-date=}}}} (and some feared) in the community, as they were healers, midwives (hilot), shamans, witches and warlocks (mangkukulam), priests/priestesses (babaylan/katalonan), tribal historians and wizened elders that provided the spiritual and traditional life of the community. In the Visayan regions, there is a belief in the existence of witchcraft or barang and mythical creatures such as the "aswang", "balay sa dwendi" and "Bakonawa", despite the existence of the Christian and Islamic faiths.

In general, the spiritual and economic leadership in many pre-colonial Filipino ethnic groups was provided by women, as opposed to the political and military leadership according to men.{{fix-{{#switch:{{{style}}} |box|page=box |line|section=line |inline|#default=inline}} |{{#if:|image=}} |{{#if:|size=}} |{{#if:WikiPilipinas:Citing sources|link=WikiPilipinas:Citing sources}} |{{#if:noprint Template-Fact|class=noprint Template-Fact}} |{{#if:This claim needs references to reliable sources|title=This claim needs references to reliable sources}} |{{#if:|pre-text=}} |{{#if:citation needed|text=citation needed}} |{{#if:|post-text=}} |{{#if:|special=}} |{{#if:April 2008|date=April 2008}} |cat= |{{#if:|cat-date=}}}} Spanish occupiers during the 16th century arrived in the Philippines noting about warrior priestesses leading tribal spiritual affairs. Many were condemned as pagan heretics. Although suppressed, these matriarchal tendencies run deep in Filipino society and can still be seen in the strong leadership roles modern Filipino women are assuming in business, politics, academia, the arts and in religious institutions.

Folk religion remains a deep source of comfort, belief and cultural pride among many Filipinos.{{fix-{{#switch:{{{style}}} |box|page=box |line|section=line |inline|#default=inline}} |{{#if:|image=}} |{{#if:|size=}} |{{#if:WikiPilipinas:Citing sources|link=WikiPilipinas:Citing sources}} |{{#if:noprint Template-Fact|class=noprint Template-Fact}} |{{#if:This claim needs references to reliable sources|title=This claim needs references to reliable sources}} |{{#if:|pre-text=}} |{{#if:citation needed|text=citation needed}} |{{#if:|post-text=}} |{{#if:|special=}} |{{#if:April 2008|date=April 2008}} |cat= |{{#if:|cat-date=}}}} Nominally animists constitute about one percent of the population. But animism's influence pervade daily life and practice of the colonial religions that took root in the Philippines. Elements of folk belief melded with Christian and Islamic practices to give a unique perspective on these religions.

Judaism

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As of 2005, Filipino Jews number at the very most 500 people.<ref name=jta> </ref> Other estimates range between 100 and 500 people (0.000001% and 0.000005% of the country's total population).

Today, Metro Manila boasts the largest Jewish community in the Philippines, which consists of roughly 40 families. The country's only synagogue, Beth Yaacov, is located in Makati, as is the Chabad House of the Ashkenazi Haredim.<ref>http://www.chabad.ph/page.asp?pageID=D0C59F0E-E626-466C-804A-A7D138905F7E</ref> There are, of course, other Jews elsewhere in the country,<ref name=jta> </ref> but these are obviously fewer and almost all transients,<ref>Schlossberger, E. Cauliflower and Ketchup.</ref> either diplomats or business envoys, and their existence is almost totally unknown in mainstream society. There are a few Israelis in Manila recruiting caregivers for Israel and a few other executives. A number are converts to Judaism. There are few Jewish, Hasidic and Kabbalah groups that exists in the Philippines. In the Metro Manila, the Kabbalah Centre <ref>http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/lifestyle/lifestyle/view/20071224-108667/Unlocking_the_mysteries_of_the_heart_and_soul</ref> established its first Kabbalah Study Group, <ref name=kcph> </ref>with a total of 50+ members, as is the Ang Ilaw Kabbalah Study Group, which follows Hasidic tradition (Breslover) <ref>http://angilaw.wordpress.com/ang-ilaw/</ref> houses its chapter in Antipolo City, Rizal.

Bahá'í Faith

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