Polish court upholds sentence against Protestant pastor


Central Europe


According to the pastor, the charges brought against him are politically motivated. Photo Against the Tide TV

A Polish pastor has been convicted of insult. The outspoken Protestant now wants to enter politics.

The Protestant pastor Paweł Chojecki insulted the Catholic Church, the Polish people and President Duda. The Lublin Court of Appeal ruled this on Monday. The pastor, therefore, has to do eight months of community service and must pay the costs of the legal proceedings in both his appeal and his original trial.

The outspoken pastor was prosecuted for statements he made during services. He firmly rejected Catholic doctrine in those services, calling the Polish people "pagans" and President Duda a "coward". After people alerted the prosecution to these utterances, it decided to open a case. Under Polish law, ridiculing religion and insulting a head of state, among other things, are illegal. Chojecki considers the trial a "political process."

The ruling brings the case within Polish jurisdiction to an end. Whether Chojecki will appeal to a European court has yet to be discovered. After the judge pronounced the verdict, pastor Chojecki announced that his movement "We Go for Freedom" wants to run in the 2025 Polish presidential elections. "We want to end slavery for all Poles. So help us God!"

During the trial, the Catholic Episcopate of Poland also commented on Chojecki's views. They said such "strong words were used in religious polemics in the 16th century." But these phrases are no longer being used five hundred years later, the Church writes. "The Roman Catholic Church cares about good relations with other churches and religious communities in Poland. However, not all Christian communities today decide to participate, even minimally, in the ecumenical movement."



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