THE Philippines, the only Catholic nation in Asia, won another accolade as the second country in the world where Pope Francis received the most favorable opinion, second only to Portugal, according a recent global survey conducted by the WIN/Gallup International.
The survey asked the question: “What do you think is the country where the Pope Francis is most favored?” His native Argentina? Mexico? The Philippines?”
The result of the worldwide survey was Portugal at first with 94 percent, followed by the Philippines, 93 percent, and the pope’s homeland Argentina, 89 percent.
WIN/Gallup International “sought the views of more than 63,000 people in 64 different countries” and the survey showed “Pope Francis’ image is recognized on a worldwide scale by people of other religious beliefs.”
“This study argues that 54 percent of the world population has a positive opinion of the pontiff. Whereas, 12 percent have an unfavorable opinion and 34 percent do not have an opinion,” WIN/Gallup International, pointed out.
The survey also showed that Pope Francis was ahead of other world leaders like US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron or French President Francios Hollande, among others.
The same survey shows that Algeria is the country where Pope Francis received the most unfavorable opinion with 28 percent, followed by Palestine and Turkey with 27 and 26 percent, respectively.
It may be recalled that the Pope visited the Philippines last year where sea of humanity flooded every place Holy Father went, particularly in Manila where over six million Filipinos attended the Mass officiated by the Pontiff at the Rizal Park.
It was the largest gathering for a papal event anywhere in the world. The figure has surpassed the five million people who attended the Holy Mass officiated by Pope John Paul II also held in Manila during the celebration of the World Youth Day in 1995.
Pope Francis was the third Pontiff to visit the Philippines. The first was Paul VI in 1971, followed by Pope John Paul II now a saint, who visited twice the first in 1981 and second in 1995.