New statistics confirm loss of faith among high school students in Poland


Central Europe


A bible on top of a biology text book while students study in the background. Photo EPA, Justin Lane

The latest figures from municipalities in Poland confirm that the younger generation does find the Christian faith very relevant. The proportion of pupils that attend the optional Catholic catechism classes continues to drop.

The proportion of high school students who do attend religious lessons is now below 30 per cent, Notes from Poland reports. Church leaders warn for a “wave of apostasies”, for example, in Warsaw.

In 2019, 44 per cent of high school students still attended religious classes, Notes from Poland reports based on an article from Gazeta Wyborcza. The latest data shows that this percentage has plummeted to 29 per cent. In technical and trade schools, the share of the student population that attended catechism classes dropped from 41 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively, last year, to 23 per cent last year.

According to Notes from Poland, several large cities follow this declining trend. This fits within a broader trend of the secularisation of Polish society.


The church's public image is “an intolerant institution, linked to the ruling party which goes hand in hand with scandals including paedophilia”, Father Rafal Kowalski, spokesman for the curia in Wroclaw, says in the interview with Gazeta Wyborcza. Especially when the government introduced stricter abortion laws, more and more young people turned their backs on religion, he adds. A poll from that time shows that only 9 per cent of the young people had a positive view of the church.

Earlier this year, CNE.news reported that the number of pupils attending religious classes in primary schools was also declining rapidly.

At the same time, the vast majority of the Polish population continues to identify themselves as Catholics.



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