Of the 2.18 billion Christians in the world — almost a third of the global population of 6.9 billion — 86.8 million are Filipinos, says a study by the US-based Pew Research Center. That makes the Philippines, with 93% of its estimated population of 93.3 million Christians, still the only predominantly Christian country in Asia.

Most Filipinos wouldn’t ask for anything better. They’re happy being Catholics or members of any of the other Christian churches. God is constantly on their lips, and they attribute to Him whatever happens to them whether good or bad. If they come to some good luck, it’s thanks to God; if to bad, whether the loss of a job or a loved one, it’s still God’s will, for which He must have a reason mere mortals don’t have the capacity to understand or even discern.

The Churches are so full every Sunday, they worry more about parking than saving souls. The biggest crooks in government are also the most devout — and the most photographed while discharging their religious obligations. Every ceremony in the offices of the supposedly secular government of the Philippines starts and ends with a prayer, and has a Santo Niño or Virgin Mother corner, which every Christmas morphs into a creche of the child Jesus, complete with shepherds, angels, lambs and donkeys, plus the usual gift-bearing magi.

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