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Tatars first settled in Poland in the 14’th century.  The first Tatar tribes settled in the lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. They were skilled warriors and great mercenaries.  Their settlement was promoted by the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.  The Tatars who settled in Lithuania, Ruthenia and modern-day eastern Poland were allowed to preserve their Sunni religion in exchange for military service. By the beginning of the 20’th century, many of them had become so integrated into Polish society that they joined their Roman Catholic. After the II World War the majority of Tatar settlements were annexed by the Soviet Union and only three remained in Poland (Bohoniki, Kruszyniany and Sokółka). 
Muslim mosqueMuslim mosque
However, a considerable number of Tatars moved across to the Polish side of the border and settled in several locations in eastern Poland (esp. in Białystok and nearby towns) as well as in western and northern Poland (esp. in Gdańsk and Gorzów Wielkopolski). Nowadays no more than 400 - 4,000 Muslims of Tatar origin live in Poland.  In 1971 the Muslim Religious Association was reactivated and since 1991 the Society of Muslims in Poland is also active. The following year also the Association of Polish Tatars was restored.



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