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Religion & Culture

Malta Religion & Culture

As might be expected with a country that has had so many influences over the years, Malta is a very tolerant destination with regards to religion.

Predominantly (and officially) Roman Catholic, Malta's Christian past goes back a long way with the legend that St. Paul was actually shipwrecked on Malta ("Melite") and set up a ministry on the island.

The Knights of Malta (formerly known as the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem) were given the islands in 1530 by the Spanish king Charles I. Religion was a key part of their organisation and existence and their legacy is still very evident in Malta. Indeed there are around 365 churches in Malta.

Culturally Malta is a fascinating destination. With a language based upon old Arabic (using the western "Roman" alphabet), the Maltese are descended from many different races including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Sicilians and a number of other more recent arrivals (such as descendants of the Knights of Malta that came from all over Europe and North Africa). However, settlements on Malta date back long before the current Maltese population with the megalithic temples being the oldest free-standing structures in the whole of Europe.