"Na drugim planie". Nierzymskokatolickie Kościoły i związki wyznaniowe na obrzeżach głównego nurtu polityki wyznaniowej PRL = "In the Background". Non-Roman-Catholic Churches and Religious Associations on the Outskirts of the Mainstream Religious Policy of the PRP
Group publication title:
The intention and strategic aim of the party and national authorities in the People?s Republic of Poland was to eradicate all religious organizations (with the Roman Catholic church as their main target) and the complete cessation of religious life. In practice, the eradication policy meant regular, repressive action against the two religious associations in the years 1945-1989 (the Greek Orthodox Church and Jehovah?s Witnesses) and four other in the years 1945-1956 (the Methodist Church, the United Evangelical Church, the Union of Churches of Seventh-day Adventists, the Polish-Catholic Church). ; Regulatory measures were imposed on the majority of religious associations in the whole period of the People?s Republic of Poland. After 1956 the group was extended to include the four churches previously appointed for eradication. The main aim was to be achieved by staffing the top hierarchical positions within the religious communities and ensuring that the main aim of the religious organizations be to engage in pro-country and anti-Roman Catholic propaganda. The authorities were to a lesser degree interested in some other associations. ; The classification into the "background" was based on quantitative ("a small number of followers"), but primarily on qualitative principles ("non-threatening to the country?s policy"). While the groups were not involved in major conceptual-programme activities, nor large-scale operations, they remained under regular and practical invigilation. It was the most outspoken attestation to the strengthening of the system based on in-depth political supervision over religious associations and the whole of religious life. ; From the perspective of the authorities, the advantage resulting from the existence of the associations (noticed only after 1956), offered some propaganda opportunities at the international level. The religious mosaic was to become an argument for respecting the principles of religious pluralism and religious liberties in the PRP. ; This article is concerned with the issues pertaining to the religious minorities in Poland which in the years 1945-1989 found themselves on the outskirts of the mainstream of the country?s religious policy, i.e. Muslims, Old Believers, Pietists, Irenicists, Pentecostals (those outside the structures of the United Evangelical Church), Mormons, Buddhists, Hinduists, Syncretists and communities operating outside the official registration of the authorities.