The multi-religious fabric of Goa’s society shines brightly imbibed with the spirit of “Sarva Dharma, Sarva Bhava” or Equal Respect for all Religions.
The major religions are Hinduism and Christianity which together account for more than 95 per cent of the population while Islam and other religions account for the remainder 5 per cent. Goa is famous for its religious harmony and one can see a harmonious blend of all major religions of India in Goa. Religion in Goa is not a big issue since people live with each other peacefully and are much tolerant of each other’s religions. Goan religious practices are followed by almost everyone who is settled over there. Most people tend to have a thinking that Goa is predominantly a Christian state but the major religion of Goa is Hinduism. Hence it would be safe to say that Goa is a Hindu majority state.
The Portugal rule left a typical Christian nature to this state and even today you will find many houses being built in the typical style of the Portuguese. There is a beautiful blending of different religions in Goa. One finds ancient churches standing along with Hindu temples in the same area. People irrespective of their religions; celebrate every festival with devotion and joy. People of different faiths and beliefs come together whenever some auspicious moment is to be celebrated.
The “Rome of the East” abounds with some of the world famous churches and temples abound is also the place where a “divine” co-existence prevails between people of various faith. The Goan ethos has marvelously outlived the pangs of the inquisition and religious conversions. Irrespective of whether they are Catholic, Hindu or Muslim, many Goans prostrate in symbiotic reverence before deities of other faiths than the one they profess. Religion dwells in the hearts of Goans wherever in the world they may be. Religious festivals are celebrated by people of all faiths.
In simpler words, you can find a Hindu in a church, a Muslim celebrating a Hindu festival, a Christian in a Hindu celebration and so on. People have developed religious tolerance and respect for other faiths. There is a unique blend of all religious faiths in Goa which is what lends a very mystical air to this wonderful state.