Pope John Paul II Receives Medal of Freedom | Victims of Communism

Victims of Communism — Memorial Foundation

Pope John Paul II Receives Medal of Freedom

Before becoming pope in 1978, Karol Wojityla lived under both Nazi and Communist occupation in his native Poland, and as spiritual leader to the world’s one billion Roman Catholics he helped provide the moral courage needed to bring down the Iron Curtain. His exhortation to “be not afraid” inspired the Polish Solidarity movement, which in turn forced Soviet authorities to rethink their relationship to Eastern Europe as a whole.