|Israel||SURVEY CONFIRMS PAPAL VISIT IMPROVED CHURCH'S APPROVAL RATING|
The Israeli public's views on the Catholic Church and Christianity improved considerably as a result of Pope John Paul II's visit to the Holy Land, according to a survey published on Tuesday.
The pope's visits to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and the Western Wall were key in creating a favorable climate, said pollsters at Bar-Ilan University.
At Yad Vashem, the Pope paid tribute to the six million Jews killed in the Nazi genocide. At the wall, he asked for forgiveness for the persecution of Jews by Christians.
Based on those high-profile events, 62% of 502 respondents said they felt Christians had a positive attitude toward the Jewish people, compared to 55% who believed this before the pope arrived for his six-day trip on 21 March.
Also, 47% of those surveyed after the visit said the Catholic Church viewed Israel positively, up from 39% earlier this month. The margin of error was 4.5 percentage points.
John Paul's historic trip here - the first by a pope since 1964 - was considered a watershed in Catholic-Jewish relations.