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In recent years, the Catholic Church has made significant public relations inroads in Russia. A poll surrounding the death of John Paul II indicated that 30 percent of Russians have a favorable opinion of Catholicism—almost double the figure of only five years ago. Those that have a negative opinion also dropped from nine to five percent. The poll was conducted April 9-10 in 100 cities and towns throughout 44 of the major municipalities of Russia, gathering the opinions of 1,500 respondents. Nearly half (46 percent) of those polled considered the death of John Paul II to be a loss for the entire world, and respondents also most frequently mentioned his peacemaking activities as his leading merit. Half of those surveyed also believed that the authority of the Catholic Church had increased during the reign of Pope John Paul II.
Source: Zenit News Agency