Filipina Singer Lea Salonga Knows Exactly What It's Like to Celebrate Christmas in Advance

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Dec. 12 2023, Published 1:09 p.m. ET

Lea Salonga in 2023
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Lea Salonga is a popular Broadway singer and actress who was born in the Philippines.
  • The question about whether or not she is Mormon has popped up.
  • She performed at an annual Christmas musical celebration alongside English actor David Suchet.
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As an award-winning singer and actress on screen and on stage, Lea Salonga has become a veritable icon of the Philippines. Having kicked off her career back in 1978, she made leaps and bounds for Asian representation in shows like Les Misérables, My Fair Lady, and Sweeney Todd just to name a few.

In 1991, she became the Asian actress to win a Tony Award for her Broadway performance in Miss Saigon. She continues to perform to this day, having appeared in several stage and screen productions.

Having been dubbed the Pride of the Philippines, Lea Salonga has made incredible achievements throughout her career. As she continues making appearances and putting on musical performances, folks have been curious as to what her religion might be. At a certain point, the question as to whether or not Lea Salonga is Mormon has cropped up, likely due to her ongoing association with the Tabernacle Choir. Here's what we know.

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Lea Salonga
Source: Getty Images

Is Lea Salonga Mormon? Highly unlikely.

Lea Salonga has never quite made her religion known, nor has it ever played much of a factor in her career. Her home country of the Philippines, however, is staunchly religious. Thanks in no small part to the violent Spanish occupation of the Philippines that took place between 1565 and 1898, the nation is currently ranked as the fifth largest Christian-majority country on Earth. In 2019, the Philippines became the third-largest Catholic country in the world.

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The Philippines has long worn Christianity and Catholicism on its sleeve. As for Lea herself, she has never made her religion explicitly public. In fact, she has openly criticized people who tout their religions in opposition to civil rights.

In a 2015 interview with Rappler, she spoke in support of reproductive rights and same-sex marriage, both of which remain hot-button issues in the Philippines to this day.

When confronted with fans who opposed her stance on reproductive health, she replied, "If it had nothing to do with religion, why [are you opposing reproductive health]? Are you just blindly following religion or did you actually stop, think about it, then make a stand?"

To this day, she continues to support civil liberties for marginalized communities. She is an active supporter of LGBTQ+ rights and has been outspoken against racial violence following the rise of attacks against Asian Americans in 2021.

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Lea and David Suchet performed alongside the Tabernacle Choir.

Though she has never openly disclosed her religious status, she does often celebrate Christmas. In 2022 and 2023, she did so by performing at the Season of Light: Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir alongside the eponymous Tabernacle Choir, a Mormon religious singing group.

Both she and actor David Suchet gave performances, with Lea singing a number of Christmas carols and church hymns.

According to UPI, Lea was deeply moved by David's narration of the story of Nicholas Winton, an English stockbroker who saved hundreds of Jewish children from Nazi occupation in Czechoslovakia at the start of World War II.

Lea Salonga has been uncompromising on her stance for civil rights and has never shied away from speaking on religion in both positive and critical manners.

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