Global and religious: Urban aspirations and the governance of religions in Metro Manila

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This chapter explores urban aspirations and the governance of religions in Metro Manila, the Philippines. The management of religions is not a central role for the agencies governing Metro Manila, which is composed of sixteen cities and one municipality with their respective local government units. These units are coordinated by the Metro Manila Development Agency (MMDA), which is often relegated to short-term and problem-solving tasks concerning traffic management and flood control, for example. This chapter first considers how the state imagines Metro Manila as a global and religious capital and how religious diversification and the global religious movements that originate from it also enrich its global character. It then discusses a number of recent controversies and cases that highlight the different kinds of relationship between religions and the state in Metro Manila.