Only 37% of Pinoy Catholics attend mass
Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - April 10, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino Catholics going to church every Sunday have gone down from 64 percent to 37 percent, based on a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Nearly one in 10 or 9.2 percent of Catholics who are registered voters “sometimes think of leaving the Church,” according to the same SWS survey taken Feb. 15 to 17.

More than 80 percent of the 94 million Filipinos consider themselves Catholics.

In comparison, there are nearly twice as many in other Christian denominations and sects who are weekly churchgoers: 64 percent among
Protestants, 70 percent among Iglesia ni Cristo members and 62 percent among other Christians groups. Seventy-five percent of Muslims attend masjid at least weekly, the SWS said.

“In the entirety of 70 SWS surveys of church attendance during 1991-2013, weekly attendance was always lower among Catholics than among Filipinos in general,” it said.

The highest recorded weekly church attendance among Filipinos was 66 percent in July 1991, the first time SWS asked the question. The highest recorded weekly church attendance among Catholics was 64 percent, also in July 1991.

The latest 37 percent weekly church attendance of Catholics in February 2013 matched the all-time low 37 percent weekly church attendance of Catholics in March 2008.

“The decline in Catholics’ weekly church attendance from 1991 to 2013 is highly significant, statistically speaking,” the SWS said.

Meanwhile, the same survey showed that compared with other religious groups, Catholics are the least religious.

Only 29 percent of Catholics consider themselves “very religious,” compared to 50 percent among Protestants, 43 percent among INC members and 41 percent among those from other Christian denominations. Among Muslims, 38 percent consider themselves very religious.

The survey also found one in every 11 Catholics “sometimes think of leaving the Church.”

“Having thoughts of leaving the Catholic Church is more common among Catholics who do not consider themselves as very religious, who attend church monthly at most, and whose church attendance is less now than five years ago,” the SWS said.

The survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 registered voters divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

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