The religions here reflect the varied cultures of the island’s peoples and include Islam, Buddhism, the animism of the Moken and also Christianity. The sparklingly ornate Thai Theravada Buddhist temples with their spectacular Buddha images are everywhere with their festivals, Buddhist holidays and mysterious roots in Hinduism. The mosques of the sizeable Muslim population and a few Chinese Buddhist temples can also be seen here, often with shrines to the various sea gods of Chinese mythology as well as Buddha images. A number of Christian denominations, including the Catholic and Russian Orthodox faiths, have churches on the island, providing for the needs of the large expat community and a small number of Thai Christians. Phuket’s long history of trading with many nations holding diverse beliefs has resulted in an admirable tolerance of different faiths.
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