Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Solidarity, Then and Now

In 1979, Pope John Paul II returned to his native Poland and held mass before 250,000 people. He spoke words that challenged the atheist ideology of the Soviet Union and its ruling puppets in Poland. According to this report in CNN, the audience responded in a way that directly linked their faith to freedom:
"Therefore, Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe, at any longitude or latitude of geography. ... Christ cannot be kept out of this part of the world. To try to do this is an act against man."

"Christ conquers, Christ rules," they sang, hundreds of thousands of triumphant voices. And from among the yellow and white papal flags in the crowd a banner was unfurled that read: "Freedom, independence, protection of human rights."

A year after the Pope's visit, Lech Walesa formed the independent trade union Solidarity, the wedge of opposition to Soviet rule that eventually swept communist governments and the USSR itself into the dustbin of history.

Now, Poles are showing their solidarity again, standing fast and remembering Christians murdered by Islamists, through a campaign called "Martyrs of our Times." In a strong, unapologetic message, they are greatly adding to the growing stream of Western responses to Islamist terror, this time raising a distinctly Christian voice that should be emulated by faiths worldwide.

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The details come from this Agence France-Presse story (deleted portions contain the obligatory Islamic braying about "provocation"):
A Christian group in the Polish city of Poznan has put up posters in the city’s trams of modern “martyrs” who have died at the hands of Muslims or in Muslim nations, its head said Monday.

“We did this in the spirit of Christian solidarity with those who suffer for their faith,” said Boguslaw Kiernicki, head of the St Benedict Foundation which was created six months ago.

“Christians in Poland are in a comfortable situation, but there are others in other countries who are not,” he said. . . Some 300 posters are on display in Poznan’s trams, showing Christians who have died in Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey and Indonesia, among other countries.The captions on the posters describe their “road to Calvary” and call on Poland’s predominantly Roman Catholic faithful to pray for “these modern martyrs”


The invaluable Gateway Pundit has more details and examples of the posters.

The pro-Israel group Stand With Us has an outstanding collection of posters and flyers, including, in the spirit of the Polish campaign, this one.

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