Religions in Goa
Goa is a potpourri
of various cultures and religious traditions. The multitude of cultural
influences has had a lasting influence on the culture of Goa. The people
of Goa are as diverse as any Indian state. However, being an erstwhile
Portuguese colony, Goa features many elements of Portuguese culture. This
makes Goa unique. The religions of Goa have coexisted for the past few
centuries. There have been occasional turbulence, but over this long period,
the people of Goa have learnt to respect religions other than their own.
This has helped create a harmonious and cosmopolitan environment in the
state that is very important for the tourism of the state.
Hinduism in Goa
with Christianity, Hinduism accounts for about 95 % of the local population.
The various Hindu dynasties of south India that ruled over Goa in the
ancient and medieval ages built many temples and other religious monuments
all over Goa. With the arrival of Islam, and later, Christianity, Hinduism
was under threat for some time. The Portuguese tried to suppress the religion
during the infamous inquisition. Temples were destroyed, and forced conversions
were rampant. However, after the end of inquisition (1812), and after
the Portuguese left Goa, Hinduism flourished once again as the leader
among the religions of Goa.
Islam in Goa :
Islam was brought into Goa by the first invading forces of the Delhi Sultanate.
The later Islamic rulers built many mosques and other religious monuments
in Goa. Islam never got a significant foothold in the state. A minority
still practices the faith, and their festivals are celebrated with the
same enthusiasm as all over India.
arrived in Goa with the Europeans. The priests who arrived with the early
traders found Goa to be a good place for spreading the word of Christianity.
Churches were built to serve as the religious centers of the colonialists
and were for a long time the center of Portuguese social life. Later,
especially during inquisition, Christianity started spreading its influence
all over the state, accompanied by a flurry of church building. The churches
of Goa are among the most visited monuments in the state.
Buddhists and Jains
are also found in small numbers in Goa.