A New Crusade

Poland's embrace of Catholicism and anti-LGBT ideology

A New Crusade God, Honour, Fatherland. With this slogan, Poland’s government and Catholic Church have launched a crusade against liberal democracy. Is this a revival of true Polish values, or the road to fascism?
Thirty years after the fall of communism, little is left of that moment’s euphoria. With fears that the Polish government will use the coronavirus lockdown to restrict abortions, and rig an election, a culture war has risen between greater European integration, and a conservative Catholic nationalist revival. "This time it’s not a red plague, but a rainbow plague", says the Archbishop of Krakow, referring to the LGBT movement. One fervent critic of the government moves, Ela Pozneza, says that since the Law and Justice party has come to power, church and state have been working hand in hand to restrict freedoms. "Officially, of course there is separation of church and state. But it is a fiction. They are just like twin brothers", says Pozneza. A pro-Catholic march quickly becomes more militant as the crowd chant: "Use a sickle, use a hammer, smash the red rabble." While this rhetoric scares some, many believe the post-communist years of liberal democracy have gone too far in erasing Polish, and European, traditional values. "I believe that we can remain a Catholic country, a bedrock of faith in Europe. I believe Europe will go back to the values it was based on", says one churchgoer.

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