Religion in Poland

Religion in Poland
Eastern Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral in Warsaw.

Most residents of Poland adhere to the Christian faith, with 89.8% belonging to the Roman Catholic Church.[1] Catholicism plays an important role in the lives of many Poles and the Roman Catholic Church in Poland enjoys social prestige and political influence.[2] The Church is widely respected by its members, who see it as a symbol of Polish heritage and culture.[3] The rest of the population consists mainly of Eastern Orthodox (about 506,000 believers, mainly Polish Belarussians[4]), Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland (about 85,000) and various Protestant (about 250,000, with about 130,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in the largest religious minorities.[5][6]

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005:[7]

  • 80% of Polish citizens responded that "they believe there is a God" (which was the fifth highest result in Europe).
  • 15% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
  • 3% answered that "don't know".
  • 2% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".

According to the most recent CBOS opinion poll published in the fall of 2008:[8]

  • 94% of Poles claim "they believe in God",
  • 6% claim they "do not believe in God or do not know",
  • 52% of believers claim "they attend to mass, religious meetings etc. at least once a week",
  • while 17% do so "once or twice a month",
  • 18% do so "a few times a year",
  • and 13% "never do so".

From the beginning of its statehood, rulers of Poland were supporting religious minorities. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Poland was famous for its unique religious tolerance (see Statute of Kalisz (1264) and Warsaw Confederation (1573)).

However in the 15th and 18th century, pressure from the Catholic Church caused tensions to rise between Catholics and Protestants after the Edict of Wieluń and later the Tumult of Torun contributing to the Age of Enlightenment.


The Polish Constitution and religion

According to Poland's Constitution freedom of religion is ensured to everyone. It also allows for national and ethnic minorities to have the right to establish educational and cultural institutions, institutions designed to protect religious identity, as well as to participate in the resolution of matters connected with their cultural identity.

Religious organizations in the Republic of Poland can register their institution with the Ministry of Interior and Administration creating a record of churches and other religious organizations who operate under separate Polish laws. This registration is not necessary; however, it is beneficial when it comes to serving the freedom of religious practice laws.

Major denominations in Poland

Denomination Members Leadership
Catholic Church in Poland[9]
 • Roman Catholic
 • Byzantine-Ukrainian
 • Armenian
33,550,000  • Józef Kowalczyk, Prymas of Poland
 • Józef Michalik, Chairman of Polish Episcopate
 • Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to Poland
 • Jan Martyniuk, Archbishop Metropolite of Byzantine-Ukrainian Rite
Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church 506,000 Metropolitan of Warsaw Sawa
Jehovah's Witnesses in Poland 126,488[10] Warszawska 14,Pl-05830 Nadarzyn
Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland 100,000 Bishop Fr. Jerzy Samiec
Old Catholic Mariavite Church in Poland 23,300 Chief Bishop Fr. Michał Maria Ludwik Jabłoński
Pentecostal Church in Poland 21,200 Bishop Fr. Marek Kamiński
Polish Catholic Church 18,900 Bishop Wiktor Wysoczański
Seventh-day Adventist Church in Poland 9,600 Fr. Paweł Lazar, President of the Church
Christian Baptist Church in Poland
 • Baptist Union of Poland
6,500 President of the Church : Gustaw Cieślar
Islamic Religious Union in Poland 5,100 President of the Supreme Muslim College Stefan Korycki
Evangelical Methodist Church in Poland 4,460 Ruler of the Church, Bishop Edward Puślecki
Evangelical Reformed Church in Poland 3,500 President consistory Dr. Witold Brodziński
Catholic Mariavite Church in Poland 2,150 Bishop Damiana Maria Beatrycze Szulgowicz
Union of Jewish Confessional Communities in Poland 1,222  • President of the Main Board Piotr Kadlcik
 • Chief rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich

There are roughly 125 other minor religions registered in Poland.[9]

See also


External links

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