Tag Archives: Poland

Europe & Eurasia Research | Religious & Belief Minorities

Religion and National Identity in Eastern Europe and Eurasia

The Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey on the relationship between religious and national identity in Eastern European and Eurasian countries, noting changes in the way that religious identification has influenced national identity since the fall of atheist fundamentalism with the USSR. For religious and belief minorities—now including atheists—the relationship can be a troubling one, particularly as resurgent nationalism in the region has been accompanied by xenophobia and religious discrimination.

Here are highlights from the findings:

70% (Orthodox-majority) / 57% (Catholic-majority)

Average among countries who believe majority religious identity is very or somewhat important to national identity

82% (Armenia)
81% (Georgia)
78% (Serbia)
76% (Greece)
74% (Romania)
66% (Bulgaria)
63% (Moldova)
57% (Russia)
51% (Ukraine)
45% (Belarus)

Percentage within Orthodox-majority countries who believe Orthodox religious identity is very or somewhat important to national identity

64% (Poland)
58% (Croatia)
56% (Lithuania)
43% (Hungary)

Percentage within Catholic-majority countries who believe Catholic religious identity is very or somewhat important to national identity


Religious Belief and National Belonging in Central and Eastern Europe (Pew Research Center | May 2017)

Poland News | Women

Plans for near-total abortion ban fail following massive protests in Poland
  • The measure was defeated 352-58 after as many as 100,000 women dressed in black took to the streets across the country for “Black Monday” protests.
  • Pushed by the conservative Law and Justice party (PIS) and the Catholic church, the proposed law would have limited legal abortion to instances where the woman’s life was in danger, with women and doctors both facing imprisonment for conducting abortions.
  • Poland currently has some of the strictest limitations on women’s reproductive rights in Europe, with abortion allowed only in cases of rape, incest, danger to the woman’s health, or identification of serious fetal abnormality.

Read more:
Poland’s parliament rejects near-total ban on abortion after protests” (The Guardian)
Black Monday: Polish women strike against abortion ban” (BBC)
After mass protests, Poland won’t back total abortion ban” (AP via The Washington Post)

(mage Credit: Czarek Sokolowski/Associated Press, via The Washington Post)

Poland News | Foreigners

Polish parliament expands government surveillance powers ahead of major international events
  • The lower house passed legislation expanding the government’s surveillance and detention capabilities, subjecting foreigners to increased monitoring in the country.
  • Drafted in the wake of the Brussels attacks, the new law allows intelligence agencies the ability to conduct surveillance for three months without court approval, detain suspects for two weeks without charges, and expedite deportation of suspects.
  • In July, Poland will host a NATO summit and World Youth Day, a Catholic event attended by the Pope.

Read more:
Poland approves closer surveillance of foreigners ahead of NATO summit, pope visit” (Reuters)
Panel: Poland’s New Police Law Allows Privacy Infringement” (AP via ABC News)
Watchdog says surveillance powers in Poland too broad” (Radio Poland)

Poland, slow to accept refugees in the Mediterranean influx, agrees to provide asylum to 60 Syrian Christian families. More from ABC News.

The Mid-week Rounds

Protests in Saudi Arabia following the anti-Shiite suicide bombing, assisted suicide debates in the U.K., Myanmar’s anti-Rohingya protests, Russia’s community for parents and their gay children, immigration reform’s stumble in the U.S., Dubai’s motorcycle women, and 45 other stories in this week’s news rounds… Continue reading The Mid-week Rounds