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RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE

IN POLAND

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According to the Adventist News Network for 2000-JUL-11, the Interior Ministry in Poland is considering taking restrictive measures against new religious movements. On June 28, Krzysztof Wiktor, the head of the Inter-Ministerial Team for New Religious Movements, said: "the problem of sects is smaller here than in other European countries-at least for now. But if a religious or para-religious group violates fundamental human rights and causes destruction consciously and intentionally, the state must intervene." He estimates that there are between ten and twenty dangerous sects in the country, and several other "destructive groups which do not threaten society directly."

Two spokespersons for the Seventh Day Adventists in Poland reacted negatively to this announcement:

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Wladyslaw Polok, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Poland said that his church is "decidedly opposed to any curtailing of religious freedom of individuals or organizations in our society. The government's business is to guarantee religious freedom for any religion or belief, above any other consideration. If a law is broken there are ways to deal with that. We hope that religious liberty in Poland will not be threatened by this move of the Interior Ministry."

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Jan Krysta, president of the Adventist Church in Southern Poland, said that "the young democracy in Poland should not follow in the footsteps of the past communist system which scrutinized who did what in society. We hope that the Interior Ministry will not follow the infamous practices from the past." After citing some recent examples of local government officials restricting religious freedom, Krysta continued: "Even the long-established and legally recognized religious minorities are having real problems in exercising their religion in public in today's Poland. So, you wonder what it all will mean for the not-so-known religious groups."

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References:

  1. "Poland set to monitor new religious movements," Adventist News Network, 2000-JUL-11 at: http://www.adventist.org/news/data/2000/

Copyright © 2000 incl.
Essay created: 2000-JUL-17
Latest update: 2000-JUL-17
Author: B.A. Robinson

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