AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
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Polish leader says "everyone must accept Christianity"

Thu 25 Apr 2019
By Press Association

The chairman of Poland's ruling party has called the LGBT rights movement a 'foreign import' that threatens the Polish nation.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość), who are in power, said "everyone must accept Christianity" and that questioning the Roman Catholic Church in Poland is unpatriotic.

The statements Mr Kaczynski made on Wednesday in a lecture on patriotism in the city of Wroclawek came before European Parliament elections next month and a general election in Poland in the autumn, as well as the church in Poland coming under scrutiny over paedophilia, with victims increasingly breaking the taboo to speak out about their abuse.

 

 

A film about abuse by priests called Kler ('Clergy'), was a blockbuster hit and opinion surveys show that support is falling for nuns and priests teaching religion in public schools, as is now the case.

Meanwhile, the LGBT rights movement has become more visible in recent years, with more and more cities and towns, even places known as bastions of the church and conservative values, holding LGBT pride parades.

These are often met by counter-protests organised by far-right groups.

Mr Kaczynski is seen to be tapping into the feelings of Poles who feel that liberal values are being forced on them against their will as an unwanted side effect of having joined the European Union 15 years ago.

The Catholic Church has long been revered in Poland as the institution that kept the language and spirit alive during a long period of foreign rule, while also supporting the democracy movement under communism.

Mr Kaczynski and his party won the 2015 election - at the height of the migration crisis into Europe - after a campaign that portrayed Muslim refugees as a threat to the nation.

In recent weeks, the party has portrayed LGBT rights as a risk to families and children.

Mr Kaczynski called the film Kler an "attack on the church", adding: "We are dealing with a direct attack on the family and children - the sexualisation of children, that entire LBGT movement, gender.

"This is imported, but they today actually threaten our identity, our nation, its continuation and therefore the Polish state."

 

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