India, Asia's unlikely powerbroker in papal vote
PANAJI, India (AFP) - India's Catholics may account for less than two percent of the country's population but they will be Asia's most powerful voice in the election to choose a new pope.
Five of the nine Asian cardinals who have the right to vote at the upcoming papal enclave hail from India, an overwhelmingly Hindu nation where Catholics are also outnumbered by Muslims and Sikhs.
Only Italy, the United States and Germany will be represented by more cardinal electors when they meet in Vatican City.
But with around 17 million practicising Catholics, India is home to the Church's second largest community in Asia after the Philippines.