PH tops with most baptisms of young children
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Five hundred years ago, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan made history by introducing Roman Catholicism in the archipelago.
Cebu’s then ruler Rajah Humabon, his wife Hara Humamay (also known today as Queen Juana), and several of their subjects were the first to be baptized and introduced into the Christian community.
The growing number of Catholics in the country would not stop there.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in a recent report, said the Philippines is the country with the most number of baptisms among young children worldwide.
CBCP, quoting reports from the Catholic News Service, said the country registered 1.6 million baptisms of children age seven years old below in 2019.
Mexico, with 1.48 million baptized children, came in second. It was followed by Brazil with 1.05 million, the U.S. with 595,285, and Colombia with 442, 396, it added.
The Philippines also remained the only Asian country that belonged to the Top Five Countries with the most people baptized as Catholics in 2019, CBCP said.
It ranked third after recording 89 million Catholics, next to Mexico with 116 million. Brazil topped the list with 177 million baptized Catholics in 2019.
Also included in the Top Five list were the U.S. with 74 million, and Italy with 57.8 million.
Today, Wednesday (April 14, 2021), the country will be commemorating the 500th anniversary of the first baptism that took place here.
The ceremonial event will be held near Magellan’s Cross in Plaza Sugbo, downtown Cebu City.
It will also mark the culmination of the Cebu leg of the nationwide 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines (500 YOC) celebrations.
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