POLAND — When Jarek checked into a Polish state prison unit, he wasn’t feeling upbeat. The reason for his displeasure, however, probably isn’t what you expect.

In a letter to TWR’s production team for the radio program Thru the Bible, Jarek (not his real name) said he was not “completely happy” when authorities moved him to a semi-open penitentiary center … because no church meetings were held there.

“That worries me, but I will try to do my best to organize the meetings,” Jarek wrote. “Only God can make it happen, so I’ll pray for that.”

For Jarek, incarceration had a clear purpose. J. Vernon McGee’s renowned radio program, which is translated and broadcast to his country by TWR, was placed in his path to point him in the right direction. Now he has a mission.

“I have the chance to preach the gospel to my prison mates, as they are all lost and live in darkness,” Jarek said. “Apparently, God has sent me here so that I can convert them and help them see the light in accordance with his will.”

Facts About Poland*:

  • Although considered one of the most religious countries in increasingly post-Christian Europe, evangelicals make up a tiny fraction of the population.
  • The Polish Evangelical Alliance comprises most of the evangelical population, and the Polish Ecumenical Council links many Christian groups outside the dominant Catholic Church.
  • TWR has aired Christian radio programs in the Polish language since 1962 and inside Poland itself since 1994. Our national partner, TWR Impuls Polska, airs 9.5 hours of programming weekly.

*Operation World, 7th edition, was used in the preparation of this country report.