Young Poles becoming less religious

Trust in the Catholic Church is on the decline among young Poles, a report by the Catholic Information Agency has revealed.

The report covers the Church's performance in a wide range of areas based on data from Church and secular research units.

"Over the past 25 years, declarations of believing in God among the youth have declined by 20 percent, and religious practices have dropped by as much as 50 percent," the report said.

"At the same time, the percentage of young devout believers has remained stable, or even increased, although they still constitute a small minority, between 6 and 8 percent.”

The report will come as another blow to Poland’s Catholic Church. It has been hit by a wave of sexual abuse scandals, which have often been compounded by official reactions by the Church that have been condemned as insensitive or an attempt to whitewash alleged wrongdoings.

The Church also has to contend with strong secular influences.

"We've trusted the processes of democratisation and school curricula, but the hearts of young people went the other way and have been captured by someone else," said Bishop Grzegorz Suchodolski when presenting the report.

According to the Catholic Church Statistics Institute, only 11 percent of Poles define themselves as devout Catholics. Among believers, women's representation is strongest, at 70.3 percent, compared to 68.8 percent in the case of men.