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Warsaw. A “Christian-free zone” sign has been hung on the city hall? We explain

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A photo of the Warsaw City Hall fence with the “Christian-Free Zone” sign is being circulated online, reigniting the dispute over the ban on religious symbols in the capital's city hall. However, the sign was not initiated by the city hall, and the crosses in the city hall remain in place. We explain where this controversial sign came from.

On Thursday, July 4, one of the Internet users shared on the X website photowhich shows a fence with signs posted informing about the Warsaw City Hall located there, and next to it – a yellow sign with the slogan in Polish and English: “Christian-free zone”. “Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the robust son of a UB mother is mentally ill” – the internet user signed (original spelling). This entry had been viewed over 41 thousand times by July 8. Many commentators believed that the office had actually hung such a sign on the fence.

“Really????”; “Scandal”; “After the action with the Cross photo, this man will not surprise with anything anymore. Regardless of whether the card is on his orders or he only supports the action” – wrote Internet users (original spelling of all posts). Although under the entry there were also comments from people doubting the authenticity of what they were seeing. “This is not a fake?”, “Is it really?” – they asked.

Posts with photos of a controversial sign on the fence of Warsaw City Hall appeared on X over the past weekend. “'Christian-free zone'???”; “Remember the international fuss and pressure from Brussels on Poland over the /false/ signs: LGBT-free zone? Today, there are real signs under Warsaw City Hall: Christian-free zone. – This is how… communists operate!” – claimed the authors of these posts.

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An informative post on this matter was also posted by the president of the All-Polish Youth, Marcin Kowalski: “The Warsaw City Hall is a 'Cross and Christian Free Zone'. To avoid any doubts, an information sign appeared there…”. The post was shared by the president of the Ordo Iuris Institute, Jerzy Kwaśniewski, who in turn he announced: “And tomorrow, the City Hall will receive a citizens' legislative initiative with signatures of Warsaw residents – regarding the revocation of the order of the President of Warsaw”. The photo shared by Kowalski was also published by one of the Internet users – this one he appealed for help in checking whether the board shown is actually hanging on the fence of the city hall. Misleading message He spread also “Tygodnik Solidarność”, which only briefly reported on its profile: “A 'Christian-free zone' sign has been hung on the Warsaw city hall”, referring to an article on this subject.

The board hung by the All-Polish Youth was presented as real in some posts and this is how fake news was born based on the happening x.com

Who hung this emotive yellow sign?

Dispute over crosses in the office

Let us recall: the issue of crosses in the Warsaw City Hall has been arousing strong emotions for several months. It started with orders from May 8, 2024, the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, on the introduction of “Standards of Equal Treatment in the Warsaw City Hall”. The document was described on May 16 the capital's “Gazeta Wyborcza”. She then announced: “Warsaw is the first city in Poland to ban crosses in offices and officials from displaying religious symbols on their desks.”

Opposition politicians reacted quickly to these reports. The then PiS candidate for the European Parliament (he won a mandate) Tobiasz Bocheński recorded video in front of the city hall, where he said: “You will not be allowed to keep a cross even on your desk, the office is to be stripped of all religious symbolism. This is another chapter in the sawing off of Catholics.” PiS MP and then candidate for the European Parliament (he did not win a seat) Marcin Warchoł he wrote on platform X: “Today Rafał Trzaskowski is the president of Warsaw and he started to saw off Catholics. He banned crosses in the city hall. In a year he may become the president of Poland. Will he close churches?” In turn, the chairman of the Independence Party Robert Bąkiewicz in his entry He compared Trzaskowski with Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Bolesław Bierut and Wojciech Jaruzelski. “These are all communists who fought against Christianity, fought against the cross in public space, simply fought against Christ,” he said on the published recording.

PiS politicians accused Trzaskowski of violating Article 53 of the Constitution, which states:

1. Freedom of conscience and religion is ensured to everyone. 2. Freedom of religion includes the freedom to profess or accept a religion of one's own choice and to manifest one's religion individually or with others, publicly or privately, through worship, prayer, participation in ceremonies, practice and teaching. Freedom of religion also includes the possession of temples and other places of worship depending on the needs of believers and the right of persons to benefit from religious assistance wherever they are. (…) 5. The freedom to manifest religion may be limited only by means of a statute and only when it is necessary for the protection of state security, public order, health, morals or the freedoms and rights of others. 6. No one may be forced to participate or not to participate in religious practices. 7. No one may be obliged by public authorities to reveal their worldview, religious beliefs or religion.

However, as the interviewees explained Concrete24 legal experts, the order does not violate Article 53 of the Constitution.

READ MORE IN KONKRET24: “Discrimination”, “violation of the constitution”? The ban on crosses in offices and Polish law

This is a happening of the All-Polish Youth

Now, as it turns out, activists from the All-Polish Youth have returned to the issue of the crosses. Because they were the ones who organized a happening in front of the city hall, on the capital's Bankowy Square, which they themselves reported on widely. In a post from July 4, which was viewed over 17 thousand times, the activists accused the city hall of violating Article 53 of the constitution.

“The fight against the Christian religion and hatred towards everything related to faith is caused by the fact that Catholicism poses a significant threat to the decadent and immoral “values” propagated by the liberal left. (…) That is why we call on all Christians to defend their own faith and oppose the anti-religious actions of the authorities,” they wrote.

The fact that it is an organized action, he confirmed also the president of the organization. The board was therefore hung on the fence as an element of a political happening – it is not the initiative and idea of ​​the city hall.

However, back in May, Konkret24 found that “the removal of crosses in the Warsaw City Hall” will not happen. The City Hall spokeswoman, Monika Beuth, when asked by us on May 27 about the situation with crosses in the Warsaw office – whether the hanging ones are or will be removed – assured: – After the order was issued, no crosses were removed in the office buildings and will not be removed. She explains that the president's order only says how it should be. – But no one will come to anyone and take their crosses – she emphasized.

Now the spokeswoman confirmed to us that the board is no longer hanging on the fence. “Everyone has the right to express their opinions in front of the office, but this is not a place to place any boards or announcements,” Beuth wrote. Also tvn24.pl reporter Aleksander Klekocki confirmed that the board is no longer hanging on the site.

The fence of the Capital City of Warsaw Office in a photo by a tvn24.pl reporter from July 8, 2024.Aleksander Klekocki/tvnwarszawa.pl

This is what the fence of the Warsaw City Hall looks like in a shot from June 2022

Main image source: Rafal Guz/PAP



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