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To serve the Church among the Slavic nations of the world by assisting it to become fully equipped to fulfil the great commission of Jesus Christ

Poland

Background

Poland gained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It became a Soviet satellite country following the war, but one that was comparatively tolerant and progressive. Labour turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of an independent trade union “Solidarity” that over time became a political force and by 1990 had won parliamentary elections and the presidency. Complete freedom came with the implosion of the USSR in 1991. A “shock therapy” programme during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe. Today, it is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and a significant trading partner for the UK. It became a full member of the European Union in May 2004. Poland joined the NATO alliance in 1999.

Location

Central Europe, east of Germany

Area

312,685 sq km

Land Boundaries

Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast), Slovakia, Ukraine

Natural Resources

Coal, sulphur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, arable land

Population

38 million (March 2011 est.)

Ethnic Groups

Polish 97.6%, German 1.3%, Ukrainian 0.6%, Belorussian 0.5% (2011 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 95% (about 55% practicing), Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and Other (1.5%)

Languages

Polish

Capital

Warsaw

Agriculture

Potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, beef, milk, cheese

Industries

Machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages and textiles

Currency

1 zloty (Zl) = 100 groszy