Religion

For over one thousand years Poland has been a bulwark of Catholicism, fighting against the horrors of pagan invasion and looking to Catholicism for a sense of social and national unity. When Poland was partitioned in the 19th century, many turned to the church for solace and during the communist era, underground resistance meetings were surreptitiously held in churches.
The deceased Polish-born Pope John Paul II remains a genuine source of pride for all Poles, and is beloved in a way more profound than cynics in the West can understand. Many Poles genuinely believe that John Paul II single-handedly started the overthrow of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe. Small wonder then that your average Pole takes Catholicism very seriously. Those used to the more easy-going habits of the West may find the Polish enthusiasm a bit unnerving at first, particularly the solemn and opulent processions that occur from time to time and the droves that flock to mass.

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