The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands on the western rim of the Pacific. Parts of the Philippines are often hit by tropical storms or volcanic eruptions and occasionally earthquakes. Once a Spanish colony, the Philippines was an American colony from 1898 until independence in 1946. Thus it is strongly Catholic, yet American English is widely spoken.
The population continues to grow rapidly, and provides the largest Filipino export: labour. As many as five million live in other countries and send home remittances that are a major contributor to the growth of the economy. While a middle class is emerging in Manila, many live on the margins of city life, and in the provinces there are still largely unreached tribal groups, as well as Muslims in Mindanao in the south. Churches across the Philippines are growing fast.
How can you pray for the Philippines?
- For churches as they reach out to the youth of a country where more than half the population are under twenty, and around a quarter of children are unable to attend school.
- For churches and Christian organisations working to rescue, rehabilitate and disciple the 500,000 women and children involved in the sex trade.
- For the many Filipino’s who take the gospel to difficult and ‘closed’ countries to be godly witnesses for Christ and have many opportunities to tell the gospel.
Opportunities to serve in the Philippines
- Training pastors
- Partnering with Filipino pastors
- Compassion ministries
GBM stories from the Philippines
The Philippines – key facts
- Population 109,180,815 (July 2020 est.)
- Ethnicity Tagalog 24.4%, Bisaya/Binisaya 11.4%, Cebuano 9.9%, Ilocano 8.8%, Hiligaynon/Ilonggo 8.4%, Bikol/Bicol 6.8%, Waray 4%, other local ethnicity 26.1%, other foreign ethnicity .1% (2010 est.)
- Languages unspecified Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects – Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan
- Religions Roman Catholic 80.6%, Protestant 8.2% (includes Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches 2.7%, National Council of Churches in the Philippines 1.2%, other Protestant 4.3%), other Christian 3.4%, Muslim 5.6%, tribal religions .2%, other 1.9%, none .1% (2010 est.)
- Age structure 0-14 years: 32.42% (male 18,060,976/female 17,331,781), 15-24 years: 19.16% (male 10,680,325/female 10,243,047), 25-54 years: 37.37% (male 20,777,741/female 20,027,153), 55-64 years: 6.18% (male 3,116,485/female 3,633,301),
- 65 years and over: 4.86% (male 2,155,840/female 3,154,166) (2020 est.)
(Data from the CIA World Factbook, August 2020)