Polish president asks churches to protect Poles living in UK

Wed 07 Sep 2016
By Hannah Tooley

The Polish president has appealed to UK Church leaders to protect Poles that are living in the UK from racism. 

Andrzej Duda made the comments after a rise in xenophobic attacks in the UK after it decided to leave the European Union (EU) via referendum in June.

He asked the leader of Catholics in England and Wales as well as the Church of England, to advocate better support for the thousands of Polish people living in Britain.

Speaking in June the Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal Vincent Nichols spoke out against the racism and hatred that has been reported since the UK voted to leave the European Union.



Justin Welby condemned "hate-filled attacks" and said those involved were using division as an excuse of prejudice and Cardinal Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said that people need to unite, not divide.

Reported race related incidents increased by around 42% in the week before and after the UK's vote to leave the EU on 23rd June.

A 40-year-old Polish man, Arkadiusz Jozwik, died last week in north London after being beaten up by teenagers in Harlow.

President Duda said incidents of racism are creating a rift between British and Polish people, according to The Catholic Herald.

He has asked for a "constructive effort" from church communities to put a stop of the "intolerance and xenophobia, including what appears to be a clear instance of aversion and animosity toward Poles."

He stressed that Poles in the UK make a huge contribution to UK society and need to be respected.

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