Religious practice declines in Poland, especially among young

The survey showed that women remained more faithful to their religion than men. Paweł Jaskółka/PAP

Increasing numbers of Poles no longer practise religious faith, according to a survey charting the years from 1992 to 2021.

The CBOS survey found that the number of people who declared themselves to be believers fell from 94 percent to 87.4 percent during the period, while the percentage of Poles engaged in regular religious practice (at least once a week) crashed from 69.5 percent to 42.9 percent.

The fall in religious practice was particularly acute in the 18-24-year age group, which dropped from 69 percent in 1992 to 23 percent in 2021.

"However, the percentage of non-believers is slowly growing with 12.5 percent of respondents declaring themselves sceptical or entirely irreligious," CBOS said.

The survey showed that women remained more faithful to their religion than men.

"It seems that in the scale of the whole of society, women's educational advance and women's protests against tougher anti-abortion laws have not caused a significantly faster decline in the level of their religious faith compared to the level of faith of men," CBOS wrote.

The researchers also reported that the "process of losing faith was relatively faster among people with higher education, slower among those with average education and the slowest among those with only basic or vocational education."

The change was also more dynamic in bigger cities, where in 1992, 91 percent of the general population were religious compared to the current figure of 72.5 percent, with 27.5 percent of respondents being irreligious.

In the smallest towns, the level of religiosity also fell, but only by about 6 percentage points, CBOS reported, adding that more than one in four residents of Warsaw, southern Kraków, central Łódź and western Poznań and Wrocław declared they were non-believers.

The data analysed came from CBOS research conducted between March 1992 and August 2021 on a representative random sample of adult residents of Poland.