Area: 312,683 sq km
Central European plain with Baltic coastline.
Population: 38,038,094 Annual Growth: -0.08%
Official language: Polish Languages: 20 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
The materialist dream of wealth post-independence proves elusive and hollow for most. Violence, immorality and the loss of a moral compass haunt the younger generation in particular, and much of the rural population remains mired in unemployment and poverty. Praise God for the stability, progress and freedom that allow the good news to be preached. Pray that the Polish quest for material advancement might be subordinated to their search for God.
The Catholic Church was long the guardian of Polish culture and nationalism in the face of Russian imperialism and Soviet communism. It performed this role admirably, to the point where it is difficult to separate Catholic identity from Polish statehood. Poland is one of the most religious states in Europe.
a) The Catholic Churchs popularity decreases with every attempt to control or influence Polish politics and society. Also, the ties Poles feel to Catholicism decrease each passing year since the death of the Polish Pope John Paul II. Regular mass attendance dropped from 58% in 1989 to 28% in 2008. Despite increasing disillusionment with organized Catholicism and decreasing influence of faith in their daily lives, the vast majority of Poles consider themselves Catholic, most still committed to their faith.
b) Polish Catholicism is particularly noted for its devotion to Mary. Polish Catholics believe Mary to be the spiritual queen of Poland, co-redemptrix and intercessor between humanity and Jesus. The shrine of the Black Madonna in Czestochowa is the most important of the more than 500 shrines in Poland. Pray for appropriate honouring, but against the undue worship, of Mary. Pray that biblical teachings and values might be retained and enhanced, and Jesus rightly placed at the heart of the Catholic Church.
c) Renewal in the Catholic Church has a significant legacy, both among leaders and laity. Poland is rare in that applications for the priesthood are rising; it currently has about 6,000 priests serving in other countries. Movements such as Oasis/Light of Life had much influence in the 1980s when many came to personal faith in Christ as a result of Bible study groups. Pray for all Catholics to find spiritual vitality and new life in the person of Jesus.
For an additional 6 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Poland.