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Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Poland

Ethnicity

Poland is extraordinarily homogenous as nearly every citizen is ethnically Polish. Some ethnic minorities still remain in the country, primarily Jews, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, and Belarusians, although most of these minority groups left during or at the conclusion of World War II due to the Holocaust then the shifting of the country's borders. The Poles are a Slavic group most closely related to the Czechs and Slovaks as all three are Western Slavic.

Language

Linguistically, the people of Poland speak Polish, which is a member of the western Slavic language group. Polish is more similar to the other western Slavic languages, including Czech and Slovak.

Nearly everyone in Poland is a native Polish speaker, but English is a popular second language and many young people today speak English at a conversational level if not complete fluency. Germany is also a popular second language, but not to the extent English is.

Religion

Much like the ethnic and linguistic homogeneity, Poland is also very religiously homogenous as nearly every citizen is Catholic, many of whom are regularly practicing Catholics. The largest minority religion is Orthodox, which is practiced by most ethnic Belarusians, Ukrainians, and a small ethnic Polish minority.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

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This page was last updated: May, 2014