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Religion in Poland

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1 Religion in Poland on Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:17 am

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Until World War II, Poland was a religiously diverse society, in which substantial Jewish, Protestant and Christian Orthodox minorities coexisted with a Roman Catholic majority. As a result of the Holocaust and the post-World War II flight and expulsion of German and Ukrainian populations, Poland has become overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. In 2007, 88.4% of the population belonged to the Catholic Church.[28] Though rates of religious observance, at 52%[29] to 60%[30], Poland remains one of the most devoutly religious countries in Europe.[31]
Holy Spirit Orthodox Church in Białystok.

Religious minorities include Polish Orthodox (about 506,800),[2] various Protestants (about 150,000),[2] Jehovah's Witnesses (126,827),[2] Eastern Catholics, Mariavites, Polish Catholics, Jews, and Muslims (including the Tatars of Białystok). Members of Protestant churches include about 77,500 in the largest Evangelical-Augsburg Church,[2] and a similar number in smaller Pentecostal and Evangelical churches.

Freedom of religion is now guaranteed by the 1989 statute of the Polish constitution,[32] enabling the emergence of additional denominations.[33] However, because of pressure from the Polish Episcopate, the exposition of doctrine has entered the public education system as well.[34][35] According to a 2007 survey, 72% of respondents were not opposed to religious instruction in public schools; alternative courses in ethics are available only in one percent of the entire public educational system

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