Religion in Poland

Poland is one of the most religious countries in Europe.[2] Though varied religious communities exist in Poland, most Poles adhere to Christianity. Within this, the largest grouping is the Roman Catholic Church: 92.9% of the population identified themselves with that denomination in 2015 (census conducted by the Central Statistical Office (GUS));[3][4] according to the Institute for Catholic Church Statistics, 36.7% of Polish Catholic believers attended Sunday Mass in 2015.[5] Poland is one of the most Catholic countries in the world; Neal Pease describes Poland as "Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter."[6]

Religion in Poland (2019)[1]

  Catholicism (86%)
  Protestant (1%)
  Other Christian (2%)
  No religion (6%)
  Unanswered (3%)
  Other religion (1%)
St. Florian's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Warsaw. An overwhelming majority of ethnic Poles are adherents of Catholicism.

Roman Catholicism continues to be important in the lives of many Poles, and the Catholic Church in Poland enjoys social prestige and political influence.[7] Its members regard it as a repository of Polish heritage and culture.[8] Poland lays claim to having the highest proportion of Roman Catholic citizens of any country in Europe except Malta and San Marino (higher than in Italy, Spain, and Ireland, all countries in which the Roman Catholic Church has been the sole established religion).[9]

The current extent of this numerical dominance results largely from the Holocaust of Jews living in Poland carried out by Nazi Germany and the World War II casualties among Polish religious minorities,[10][11][12][13] as well as the flight and expulsion of Germans, many of whom were not Roman Catholics, at the end of World War II.

The rest of the population consists mainly of Eastern Orthodox (Polish Orthodox Church – approximately 507,196 believers),[14] various Protestant churches (the largest of which is the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, with 61,217 members)[14] and Jehovah's Witnesses (116,935).[14] There are about 55,000 Greek Catholics in Poland.[14] Other religions practiced in Poland, by less than 0.1% of the population, include Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.[15]

According to 2015 statistics assembled by Statistics Poland, 94.2% of the population is affiliated with a religion; 3.1% do not belong to any religion. The most practiced religion was Roman Catholicism, whose followers comprised the 92.8% of the population, followed by the Eastern Orthodox with 0.7% (rising from 0.4% in 2011, caused in part by recent immigration from Ukraine), Jehovah's Witnesses with 0.3%, and various Protestant denominations comprising 0.2% of the Polish population and 0.1 of Greek Catholic Churches.[3] According to the same survey, 61.1% of the population gave religion high to very high importance whilst 13.8% regarded religion as of little or no importance. The percentage of believers is much higher in the eastern parts of Poland.