Why Filipinos are Catholic?

11 12 2009

As we all know that more than 90% of the population in the Philippines hold a belief in the Roman Catholic Church. But do you know how the Roman Catholic faith got spread among the Filipinos because from my last blog, we discovered that the Filipino islands contains people from the Malay peninsular and they had the folk religions as their main belief system. Before the Christian tradition spread out in the Filipino islands, native Filipinos believed in many gods and some religious traditions such as human sacrifice. When the Spaniards conquered the islands of the Philippines, they try to get rid of all those “cruel” religious tradition and try to replace them with the “true” Christian God.

At first, the Filipinos accept the idea of the Christian God very rapidly because they think that the Christian God is just one of the gods that they believed; however, they put the Christian God over other gods because they believed that the Christian God is more powerful so the Spaniards can conquer the islands. Moreover, the native Filipinos did not understand the real need to abandon all of their gods and their religious practices. When the Catholic authority knows the truth that the Christian faith was accepted rapidly because it did not replace the old belief system but essentially was added to the old system, they try to re-Christianize them.

The Spaniards essentially destroy everything that is not Christian and force all of the Filipinos to believe in the Christian God and the Christian faith. As you can see, the Spaniard did not only do this to the Filipinos, they also do it everywhere they conquered. For instance, they destroyed the whole Mayan cities and religions because they were not of Christian faith.

Fortunately, we still had some ideas about the Mayan cultures, but we seldom have an idea of the pre-Spanish Filipino belief system. We only know that they believed in many gods and had practices that contradict the Christian faith. Also, we know that the Filipinos believed in Hindu gods and Islamic God (the same God as the Christian one) because of the trading between the Malay peninsular and India. I hope this blog helps you to understand why the Filipinos are Christians and what was their prior belief system.

Paween Itthipalkul

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