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Alternate History

Church of the Philippines (British Philippines)

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The Church of the Philippines is a member of the Anglican Communion, comprising of the territory of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. To date, it is the largest minority religion in the country with 10 million adherents and is the largest Protestant church of the country. It is a member of the Commonwealth Council of Churches of the Philippines and the Archdiocese of Manila (Anglican) is an observer with the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches.

Establishment

Before the British rule in the Philippines, there was little-known accounts of the Church of England's presence in the country though it has been speculated that English mariners visiting the islands brought private chaplains with the them. The first recorded Anglican service happened in the former Holy Cross Church (now Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral), occupied then as a makeshift British fort.

With the Philippines under British rule, the Church of England, under the direction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, brought missionaries to the islands. The Philippines was organized as a missionary province under a bishop resident in Manila.

Later on, the Dioceses of Manila and Cebu were established to govern the Luzon and Visayas-Mindanao areas of the country. Dioceses of Baguio and Santiago were separated to govern the two new missionary areas of Luzon, while the Dioceses of Zamboanga and Bacolod were later carved from Cebu. Zamboanga was later subdivided between Butuan and Davao.

Filipinization

The Intellectual Revolution of 1892 affected the governance of the Anglican dioceses of the Philippines. As the country was awarded dominion status, the local ministers too saw the need for increased autonomy from the Church of England but still remaining communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1898, the Anglican dioceses were grouped into the Church of the Province of the Philippines. The Sees of Manila and Cebu were raised into metropolitan sees, each headed by an Archbishop. Following the Church of England and Church of Ireland traditions, the Anglican Archbishops of Manila and Cebu were named Primate of All Philippines and Primate of the Philippines respectively. Gregorio Aglipay, a former Roman Catholic priest, was named as the first Archbishop of Manila, the first Filipino Anglican prelate in the history of the Church.

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