Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hamayotsu, Kikue

Second Advisor

Thurber, Ches

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


The Philippines has historically been predominantly Catholic due to Spanish colonial rule, but since the early 1900s, there has been an increase in the number of small Christian churches, denominations, and sects. Traditional theories like modernization, religious economy, or ideology fail to explain the varying growth patterns of these minority Christian religions because they do not account for sub-national variation nor fluctuations in adherents over time. The objective of this thesis is to investigate the emergence of minority Christian religions in the Philippines and develop a framework to study their growth trends over time. For the dependent variable, a typology was created to demonstrate growth patterns within religious groups, considering short and long-term periods. Additionally, several explanatory factors (independent variables) that can influence growth in the short or long-term are proposed, which are classified into four categories: ideational, organizational, institutional, and structural. Factors in the ideational and organizational categories have immediate effects on a religious group's growth or decline, driven by the motivations and actions of actors involved. On the other hand, factors within institutional or structural categories may take a longer period to manifest their impact on growth. This thesis argues that examining both short and long-term effects are important for a comprehensive understanding of these factors' influence on growth over time.


86 pages




Northern Illinois University

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