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:
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."
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."
"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