ALMOST A third of the 6.9 billion people who populate the world are Filipinos, said a 2011 study by the US-based Pew Research Center. With 93 percent of its estimated population of 100 million Christians, the Philippines is still the only predominantly Christian country in Asia where the seasons of Christianity, whether Lent or Christmas, are celebrated with a vengeance.

Most Filipinos revel in their being Christians–or in their Catholicism, even if they don’t usually vote for the candidates the Church supports, elect those it abhors, and use artificial birth control methods despite the Church’s dim view of condoms and the pill.

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