This is an old text of mine, from March 2013, but still readable, I think.
“For the first time in history, a Pope has emerged from the Americas. The election results came as a surprise to many because even though half of the world’s Catholics live in the Americas, only 29 percent of cardinal electors in the 2013 conclave were from that region. Yet, the new Pope comes from a Latin American country: Argentina.
In the months to come, debates will revolve around a myriad of expectations regarding the possible impact that the new Pope, Francisco, might have on the Catholic Church around the world. An especially relevant piece of information in which these debates are embedded is the social base of any religion: the size and composition of the faithful. Thus it is important to know how many they are, how they behave, and how much they care about religion. According to the most recent Americas Barometer surveys carried out by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) during the first half of 2012…”