Catholic Church in Poland

Primary Sources

Statistics on Polish Catholicism in the Communist Era


The information presented in this table highlights some of the ambiguities regarding the position of the Roman Catholic Church in the Polish People's Republic. The basic message in these data is that Catholicism thrived between WWII and the 1990s. These decades saw an expanding network of parishes and a dramatic surge in the construction of church buildings. However, by comparing the last column of this chart with the overall increase in parishes (and with the information we gain from the other sources provided in the Teaching Module on the Roman Catholic Church in Poland), we see that it is more likely that the Church was indeed successfully improving its pastoral services.

To see the associated Teaching Module on the Catholic Church in Poland, click here.


This chart was created from data in Zbigniew Adamowicz and Alicja Wójcik, "Ludność Polski według wyznań," in Jan Jachmyk, ed., Religia i kościół rzymskokatolicki w polskiej myśli politycznej, 1919-1993 (Lublin: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej, 1995), pp. 25-26.

How to Cite this Source

Brian Porter, "Statistics on Polish Catholicism in the Communist Era," Making the History of 1989, Item #7, (accessed May 28 2021, 3:26 pm).