deeply pious people and religion play an important role in
the Goan society. Hinduism and Christianity are the two
major religions in Goa, together constituting around 95% of
the population. The Goan society epitomizes the ethos of
religious tolerance and despite the bitter memories of the
Inquisition, people with different religious persuasions
have peacefully co-existed throughout the ages.
Hinduism is the dominant religion in Goa. A large number of
prominent Hindu temples scatter across the length and
breadth of Goa.
rule of the Portuguese tried to crush the Hindus with
widespread destruction of temples and forcefully converting
thousands of Hindus. But Hinduism still survived in Goa and
devotees clandestinely carried on worshipping their deities
in makeshift temples. Ponda is regarded the cradle of
Hinduism in Goa and there is a profusion of sacred Hindu
temples in and around Goa.
Christianity arrived on the Goan shores courtesy the priests
accompanying the traders from Portugal. The missionaries
preached Christianity and also contributed to the
development of the native Konkani language. During the
Inquisition, thousands of locals were converted to
Christianity and that period witnessed a proliferation of
churches in Goa. Besides being prominent religious
institutions, churches play a prominent role in Goa's social
Goa has a minuscule Muslim population. During the reign of
Sultan Adil Shah of Bijapur, Goa witnessed a proliferation
of mosques and other Islamic monuments. The Safa Shahouri
mosque in Ponda is the biggest mosque in Goa. The Muslim
community in Goa celebrates their traditional festivals with
religious fervor and devotion.