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Nearly 9 of 10 Pinoys give Pope ‘favorable’ rating

Paterno R. Esmaquel II
Nearly 9 of 10 Pinoys give Pope ‘favorable’ rating
The Philippines and South Korea stand out in Asia as the Pope's 'fans,' according to the US-based Pew Research Center

MANILA, Philippines – Nearly a month before Pope Francis visits the Philippines, a global survey showed 88% of Filipinos give the pontiff a “favorable” rating, even as only 41% of Asians in general view Francis positively.

A survey report released by the US-based Pew Research Center on Thursday, December 11, also showed that Filipinos give the Pope the 3rd highest rating across the globe.

The highest favorable rating, 92%, comes from Poland, the birthplace of the late pope John Paul II.

This is followed by a 91% rating from Italy, which includes Rome, the diocese of the Pope, and Argentina, where Francis was born.

The third highest rating, 88%, is shared by France and the Philippines. 

South Korea, which Francis visited in August, also stands out in Asia as it gives the Pope a rating of 86%.

The survey comes nearly a month before Francis, the first Latin American pontiff, visits the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015. (READ: Pope: I shouldn’t be the focus of my Philippine trip)

Non-Catholics: Pope 52% ‘favorable’

Other details emphasize the positive reception Francis will likely get in the Philippines in 2015.

The survey showed only 6% of Filipino respondents give Francis an “unfavorable” rating, while another 6% give no rating.

In the Philippines, too, 56% of respondents give him a “very favorable” rating; and 32%, “somewhat unfavorable.”

Following a global trend, Catholics among the Filipino respondents give the Pope a “favorable” rating of 95%; the non-Catholic Filipino respondents, 52%.

Pew Research Center concluded that Francis’ image is “positive” in much of the world, even as the Pope is “less well-known outside of Latin America and Europe.”

Across the globe, 60% of respondents view Francis positively, the survey showed.

The breakdown of favorable ratings per region is as follows: 

  • Europe – 84%

  • US – 78%

  • Latin America – 72%

  • Africa – 44%

  • Asia – 41%

  • Middle East – 25%

Pew Research Center reported these as findings based on two surveys – one conducted from October 30, 2013 to March 4, 2014, among 14,564 respondents in 9 Latin American countries, and another from March 17 to June 5, 2014, among 36,430 respondents in 34 countries.

The survey had 1,008 respondents in the Philippines. The margin of error for results in the Philippines is ±4 percentage points.

Why does much of the world give the Pope a positive rating? Tell us more in the comments section below, or tweet us using the hashtag #PopeFrancisPH. – Rappler.com

Join Rappler in a 100-day countdown to Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines: a journey from the Vatican to Tacloban. Tweet us your thoughts using the hashtag #PopeFrancisPH!

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email pat.esmaquel@rappler.com