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Nearly all Polish babies of 2022 were baptized Catholic

Poland's Christ the King

Svet Foto | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 01/10/24

Statistics of Catholic participation in Poland show a hopeful return from pandemic years, but still down from mid-20th-century highs.
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At the tail end of 2023, the Institute of Statistics of the Catholic Church released the first statistical yearbook of Poland’s Catholic Mass attendance since the pandemic ended. While the report noted a significant decline from Poland’s years under the oppression of Communism, the numbers present a hopeful bounce-back from the pandemic years

In 2022, it was found that 29.5% of Catholics attended Mass, while 13.9% received the Eucharist. While the figures appear low, it is actually an increase from 2021, when only 28.3% attended Mass and 12.9% received Communion. However, the 2022 figures continue to lag behind the 2019, pre-pandemic rates of 36.9% and 16.7% respectively. 

While Mass attendance is down, the rates at which parents are baptizing their children is still quite high. The report found that 302,200 people were baptized Catholic in Poland in 2022, which is more than 98% of the estimated 306,000 babies born in Poland in 2022. While the number of those baptized in Poland is about 4% fewer than in 2021, Statista points out that the 2022 birth rate was about 8% lower than in 2021. 

Religious education is still highly sought in Poland, with 80.3% of Polish children attending religious education classes. Catholic World Report notes, however, that the rates of religious class attendance vary by location, with much lower rates in urban areas. The dioceses of Tarnow and Przemysl in southeastern Poland, for instance, each see nearly 9 in 10 students receiving catechesis. 

The regional differences extend to participation in Church services, as those in the southern and eastern dioceses have much higher rates of Mass attendance. In the Diocese of Tarnow, in Poland’s southernmost region, 61.5% of Catholics attended Mass and 25.6% received the Eucharist. In the northeastern Archdiocese of Szczecin-Kamień, only 17.5% attended Mass, and 8.3% communicated.

Read more at Catholic World Report.

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