Poland is a postcommunist country in eastern-central Europe (population 38.2 million in 2002) and has been a member state of the European Union since 2004. It is well known as a strongly Catholic country and together with Ireland forms the “Catholic Fortress” in a mostly unchurched Europe. According to the latest accessible data on church membership from 2005 (based mainly on the number of baptisms), 89% of Poles were Catholics, 1.3% belonged to the Orthodox Church, and less than 1% were Protestant (one half of the latter being members of traditional Protestant denominations and the other half, Jehovah's Witnesses). The number of Poles who declare themselves as nonreligious is well under 10% and is certainly one of the lowest in Europe.

Catholicism is deeply rooted in ...

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