DURING the Reformation, Poland, with her religious tolerance, became known as an asylum haereticorum in which various trends in the New Faith peacefully coexisted with the official Catholic Church, and religious refugees from abroad found safety from persecution by both the Inquisition and Protestant theologians. One of the most distinguished refugees was Faustus Socinus (Sozzini, 1539-1604) of Siena, who united and gave ideological direction to the most radical group in the Polish Reformation. Hence they came to be known in the seventeenth century in western Europe as Socinians. They preferred to style themselves Fratres Poloni or simply Christians (chrystianie) while their antagonists scornfully called them Arians. This term, no longer derogatory, is accepted in the extensive Polish literature of the subject.
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