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Amanda Ripley, author of "The Smartest Kids in the World." (Photo: Brooke Bready)

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    Children pray during a religious lesson in a public elementary school in Warsaw October 4, 2012. Society in Poland is changing and with it, the relationship between the Polish people and the Catholic church. In this country where, since the end of Communist rule, prime ministers have sought the blessing of the church before making important decisions, Catholicism is losing its influence. Opinion polls show that the number of people who go to church or pray regularly is in decline. And now a series of initiatives - on in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), ending state subsidies for the church, and homosexuality - is challenging Catholicism's role at the heart of the state. Picture taken October 4, 2012. To match story POLAND-CHURCH/ REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION EDUCATION) - RTR398Y2