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Christian-Muslim Experiences in Poland

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The reality of Christian-Muslim encounters in Eastern Europe is often overlooked because problems that states and societies of Western Europe face in relation to Muslim presence tend to be placed in the focal positions of contemporary debates on Christian-Muslim relations. Refection given in this article is presented from a Polish perspective marked by the dominance of one religious tradition, namely Roman Catholic. The Muslim population of Poland is tiny at present — estimated at 0.04-0.08% of the total population. The argument presented here is that even in such an imbalanced situation interreligious contacts can effectively contribute to rethinking, renewing and strengthening of the identities of those involved in the contacts. For the RC Church it is an opportunity of learning to “make space for the others” without a feeling of giving in under pressure. After giving some attention to a question whether Poland is “multicultural”, brief characteristics of Muslim communities in Poland will be given with some attention devoted to the problem whether they are marginal or involved in the main stream of the Polish society. This will form a framework for acquaintance with examples of interreligious experiences/ encounters, and with their results and significance. The article was written before the outbursts of controversies around the construction of a mosque in Warsaw in March 2010.

Affiliations: 1: Catholic University of Lublin Poland, Email: stangr@kul.lublin.pl

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