A WIN / Gallup International survey reveals that the Pope is respected not only by Christians, but by members of all religions: also atheists and agnostics think favorably of him. The Philippines is the most enthusiastic country: 93% of respondents think "very favorably" of the Pope.
London (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis is the most popular public figure in the world, according to a survey carried out by WIN / Gallup International, a giant in sociological research. The survey finds that Catholics and Jews are religious groups with the best opinion of the pontiff. More than half of Protestants and the vast majority of atheists and agnostics "welcome" him. The survey was conducted on a sample of people - representative for religion, age, income, race and sex - in 64 countries.
Those taking part in the poll were asked: "Irrespective of your own religion, do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of Pope Francis?". 85% of Catholics and 65% of Jews have fluctuated between the first two answers.
The Philippines is the most enthusiastic nation: 93% of respondents gave the first answer. The least impressed were Tunisia, Turkey and Algeria: the majority of inhabitants of Azerbaijan responded they "do not know much" about the pontiff.
Compared with the global popularity of the various political leaders, says WIN / Gallup, the Pope won by many lengths, 11 points ahead of Obama, 13 ahead of Merkel, 10 ahead of Cameron and 6 ahead of Hollande.
Jean-Marc Leger, president of WIN / Gallup International, says: "Pope Francis is a leader who transcends his own religion. Our study shows that an ample majority of citizens of the world, of different religious affiliations and across regions, have a favorable image of the Pope".