Warsaw Mayor Bans Christian Crosses In Public Buildings

Farrukh Saif

June 2, 2024

Warsaw-Mayor-Ban Crosses

On May 16, 2024, the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, announced a new policy banning the Christian crosses, from the city hall and other public buildings in the Polish capital. This makes Warsaw the first city in Poland to implement such a measure.

Secular State Policy Triggers Controversy

Under the new rules, crosses can no longer be hung on walls, a common practice in Poland. City employees must also refrain from displaying religious symbols on their desks, and all official events will be secular in nature, excluding any form of prayer. However, the ban does not apply to personal religious symbols worn by staff, such as necklaces, tattoos, or armbands.

Trzaskowski, a deputy leader of the centrist Civic Platform (PO) party, which forms part of Poland’s ruling coalition, emphasized that the move aims to combat discrimination rather than target religion. He stated, “Poland is a secular state, and Warsaw is its capital. No one is challenging people’s rights to their religious beliefs, but anyone who comes into a public office should feel they are in a neutral place.”

Opposition Accuses Mayor of “Triggering Religious War”

The decision has drawn criticism from the opposition, right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party. PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński accused Trzaskowski of “triggering a religious war” and linked the issue to the European Parliament elections, arguing that Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s party represents “a European option to destroy religion and faith.”

Former PiS government spokesman Piotr Müller stated that the mayor of Warsaw was threatening religious freedom and attempting to enforce new cultural norms in the capital, with the cross being the first target for removal. Jarosław Sellin, a former deputy culture minister, claimed the decision was discriminatory towards practicing Catholics, saying, “I always have a cross on the desk in my office, which means that I could no longer work in Poland’s capital city.”

Crosses Removed from Public Spaces Under Communism

The removal of crosses from public buildings is a sensitive issue in Poland, as the communist regime had a policy of planned atheization and removed all Christian symbols from public spaces before its collapse in 1989. After the regime’s fall, crosses reappeared in public buildings, including the parliamentary chamber.

As Christians, we are called to unite in faith and fellowship, recognizing the power of communal prayer in fortifying our spirits and our communities. In a world where the presence of evil seems to grow more pervasive, it is imperative that we come together, lifting our hearts and voices to God.

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Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

2 Comments

  1. Michael

    Carry on this extremely important ministry.God bless you all in Jesus Name.Amen

    Reply
    • Farrukh Saif

      Thank you so much for your kind words and blessings. We are grateful for your support and encouragement. God bless you too. Amen

      Reply

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