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In past centuries, Poles often regarded Poland as being the “bulwark of Christianity”, bordering as it did with Muslim peoples such as the Tartars and Turks. One of the most important events in the history of Poland was the battle of Vienna in 1683, when King Jan III conquered the Osman army of Kara Mustafa, helping the Austrians to end the Turkish invasion of Western Europe.

POLISH CATHOLICS
When talking about Poland, “religion” often means “Catholicism”. About 90% of Poles are Roman Catholics, although this number may be overestimated as the statistics often include people who were baptised Catholic, even if they later abandoned the Church. Anyway, Catholics make the most significant religious group and this religion is a subject studied at school, even though this is not obligatory. The most religious parts of Poland are the highlander Podkarpacie region and the Silesia region.

JOHN PAUL II
The most esteemed person for many Poles was John Paul II, the Polish Pope (1920-2005). His popularity is based upon his many pilgrimages and his open attitude towards people, and among the youth he often surpassed the fame of current singers and actors. John Paul II was also known as a supporter of the ecumenical movement, and he played an important role in the fall of communism in Poland.
 
 

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