A New Crusade

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A New Crusade

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Religion in Poland is being weaponised in a fight for power.

When Poland's Archbishop of Krakow talks about fighting a plague, he's not talking about the new coronavirus. He's talking about gay rights. In the 1980s Poland played a central part in liberating the world from communism. Now there's a push to wind back many of those hard-won freedoms.

The Catholic church and the Polish government are forming a holy alliance, joining forces to denounce Western-style liberalism as the new enemy. In today's Poland, the church is supporting government moves to discriminate against gay people, wind back sex education and outlaw abortion. But feminists, gays and liberals are fighting back.

Poland is now a deeply divided nation in the throes of a culture war. The Archbishop of Krakow has publicly announced that the country has a rainbow plague. He is not alone as regional governments across Poland have declared about a third of the country 'an LGBT free zone'. Critics of the current government say the our Constitution is being broken and there is an increase in hatred spreading against homosexual people.

Far-right rallies are attracting large support where Catholic extremists are co-opting the church in their bid to push their nationalist agenda and vision of Poland as a new theocracy. While many Poles believe a religious revival will lead their country to the light, others fear it is opening the gates to something darker.

A Foreign Correspondent story

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Foreign Correspondent
Australian Broadcasting Corporation