Population: 38.5 million (2013)
Official language: Polish
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Chrześcijańskie Stowarzyszenie Akademickie (ChSA)
Poland lies at the crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe. It has a turbulent history, and was the first country in that part of Europe to emerge from communism in 1989. Poland is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. In 2007, about 88% of the population considered themselves Catholic.
- 14 IFES groups in 14 cities around Poland
- international students ministry in 5 cities
- graduate’s ministry
ChSA has officially existed for over 25 years, although it began in the 1970s despite restrictions imposed by the communist regime. It creates a platform to share passions, ideas, and the joy of the good news in a university context. By fostering Christian values, ChSA wants to point to God, without imposing theologies or belief systems.
ChSA students are enthusiastic about building personal relationships and sharing the testimony of their everyday lives. They have put in place some fruitful evangelistic events. One of them, the TeoTest, is an incredible resource built on the principle of ‘Listen First - Speak Later’ and has proved itself very successful.
ChSA is one of a few organisations in Poland that welcomes people from various denominations, churches and Christian backgrounds.
View from the inside
Darek Bigosz is the National Director of ChSA. He says, ‘I've been involved in Christian missionary work for 20 years now; first as a high school student, later as a student and finally I have the privilege of leading ChSA. I became a Christian through ChSA. In Poland, students think that they know Jesus. But truly many don’t know him as well as they could. I'd like to change that!’
Acts 1:6-8 has inspired Darek in his ministry: ‘He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”’
- for God to raise up new leaders;
- for perseverance and faithfulness for both staff and students;
- for provision to meet the financial needs of the movement.