In the Philippines, where 83% of the population is Catholic, and abortion and divorce are still illegal, 78% of the respondents believe the Pope will have a positive impact on the church in Asia. They also widely agree with his traditional stance against birth control, women in the clergy and priests marrying. In South Korea—a more diverse society where 46% of the people have no religious affiliation—opinion is more mixed. More than half the respondents are undecided or believe the Pope will have no impact on the church in Asia. Still, the vast majority of Koreans who think he will have an impact, expect it to be positive; also, among those Koreans aware of the Pope's conservative stance, most support it.
It's been four weeks since the election of German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, but the new Pope's agenda—and how it will affect the faithful—is still very much a matter of debate. In a TIME/CNN poll conducted by TNS, we asked residents of Asia's two most Christian nations, the Philippines and South Korea, for their views on the Pontiff and how his policies might affect the region.