The Grey Chronicles


Relative Hardship in Iligan? Part IV

This is the fourth part of my previous post on a quest to find a suitable figure for Iligan City’s Relative Hardship. After writing about non-personable conditions in India and the Philippines, this post will tackle religious conditions. The other conditions: safety, health, education and transportation, will be discussed later.

Religious conditions include religious prevalence, and tolerance of other religions.

Unfortunately, Wikipedia notes:

“Modern classifications typically list major religious groups by number of adherents, not by historical or theological notability. . . One way to define a major religion is by the number of current adherents. The population numbers by religion are computed by a combination of census reports and population surveys, but results can vary widely depending on the way questions are phrased, the definitions of religion used and the bias of the agencies or organizations conducting the survey. Informal or unorganized religions are especially difficult to count. . . . There is no consensus among researchers as to the best methodology for determining the religiosity profile of the world’s population [or in this case a country’s population]. About seven fundamental aspects on the manner of counting are unresolved, as well as whether to rely only on official government-provided statistics or use multiple sources and ranges or single best source(s).”

Map showing the prevalence of “Abrahamic” (purple), and “Indian” (yellow) religions in each country.

Map showing the prevalence of “Abrahamic” (purple), and “Indian” (yellow) religions in each country.

Furthermore, Wikipedia classifies Christianity as one of the Abrahamic religions aside from Islam and Judaism, are unified by their strict monotheism; while Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism are classified as Indian religions (or Dharmic religions).

Freedom House (2005) provides that India was predominantly Hindu: 81.3%, Muslim: 12.0%, Christian: 2.3%, others: 4.4% of the total population which, by ethnic group, were Indo-Aryan (72%), Dravidian (25%), other (3%).

The U.S. Department of State in its 2005 Report notes:

“"Hindutva," the ideology that espouses politicized inculcation of Hindu religious and cultural norms above other religious norms, continued to influence governmental policies and societal attitudes in some regions at the state and local level . . . [yet] the vast majority of Indians of every religious creed lived in peaceful coexistence.”

Meanwhile, majority of Filipinos were Roman Catholics (83%), with Protestant (9%), Muslim (5%), other [including Buddhist] (3%). By ethnic groupings, the population was Christian Malay (91.5%), Muslim Malay (4%), Chinese (1.5%), others (3%) (Freedom House, 2005).

Peter Kreeft (2005) itemized nine main differences between Hinduism (pantheistic) and Christianity (theistic), which he noted are typical of the differences between Eastern and Western religions in general. . . Hinduism is really two religions: philosophical for the masses; sacramental and mysterious for the sages. Only Christianity is both. Dominguez (2006) found a similarity, among others, in both religion: Christian Holy Trinity and the Hindu Trimurti; The Vedas contain many concepts compatible with Christianity’s Holy Bible.

A snap of World Values Survey (Inglehart & Welzel, 2005)

from World Values Survey (Inglehart & Welzel, 2005)

Inglehart & Welzel (2005) measured all major areas of human concern, from religion to politics to economic and social life and found that two dimensions dominate the picture: (A) Traditional vs. Secular-rational values and (B) Survival vs. Self-expression values. These two dimensions explain more than 70% of the cross-cultural variance on scores of more specific values.

In 2000, India scored -0.52 for (A) and -0.60 for (B). By 2006, India scored -0.36 for (A) and -0.21 for (B). [Refer to the figure, India is near the curl of the red line] For the Philippines, although only year 2000 values were available, it is shown with -1.21 for (A) and -0.11 for (B).

Traditional/Secular-rational values (A) dimension reflects the contrast between societies in which religion is very important and those in which it is not. . . . The second major dimension of cross-cultural variation is linked with the transition from industrial society to post-industrial societies-which brings a polarization between Survival and Self-expression values (B).” (Inglehart & Welzel, 2005)

Although others might argue for [e.g., Roy, 2005] or against [e.g., Pratte, 2001] the compatibility of both religions, the Inglehart & Welzel study shows that both Indians and Filipinos similarly give more importance to Traditional and Survival values. Filipinos, however, tend toward Self-Expression values more than Indians, while Indians are inclined toward Secular-Rational values more than Filipinos. Religious tolerance, wrote Robinson (2005), can either reflect religious pluralism, dedication to religious freedom, or religious skepticism. Jayaram (2000) writes that from a dogmatic point of view Hinduism tolerates Christianity and other religions. Christianity has, however, "an uncompromising attitude toward other religions in matters such as the infallibility of the Bible and belief in Jesus Christ." Colson (2000) warns, moreover, that there is also an ugly side of tolerance and Williams (2006) opts for the encouragement of religion rather than perpetuating the myth of religious tolerance.


Colson, Charles (2000). The Back Page: The Ugly Side of Tolerance. Online: Christianity Today, 44:3, 06 March 2000. back to text

Inglehart, Ronald & Welzel, Christian (2005). Modernization, Cultural Change and Democracy New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. back to text

Jayaram, V. (2000). Hinduism and Christianity, Jesus in India. Online: Hindu Web Site, 2000-2007. back to text

Kreeft, Peter (1987). Comparing Christianity & Hinduism. Online: National Catholic Register, May 1987.

Robinson, A.B. (2005). Religious tolerance: Is it really only religious indifference?. Online: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. 15 March 2005, (12 Sept. 2006). back to text

U.S. Department of State (2005). 2005 Report on International Religious Freedom. Washington: U.S. Department of State. 2005, online. back to text

Williams, Thomas L.C. (2006)) The Myth of Religious Tolerance. Originally published in Crisis, June 2006; reprinted Online: Regnum Christi, 26 June 2006. back to text

Disclaimer : The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

1 Comment »

  1. Great blog and hope to have some time soon to come back and read more!

    Comment by Katie — 2009.February.27 @ 22:14 | Reply

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