The petition committee for the “In Defense of Christians” legislative proposal to make the disruption of mass and intentional insults against Christianity a criminal offense was set up in July, and in the Świętokrzyskie region alone in southern Poland, it has already gathered over 3,000 signatures.
The legislative proposal is based on the idea put forward by Solidarity Poland, a group which is part of the ruling bloc led by Law and Justice (PiS).
Solidarity Poland representatives thanked citizens who had signed the petition. According to one of the party’s ministers, Michał Wójcik, the proposed legislation would protect all faiths and denominations, not just Catholics and Christians.
Wójcik said the current legislation was insufficient in a climate of increasing aggression, such as disruption of mass, physical attacks on church property, and provocative defiling of sacred images including the Virgin Mary.
Solidarity Poland is a party led by Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, which has for the past few years been arguing for a more radical line to be taken by PiS with regard to judicial reform, resisting pressure from the EU to close down the coal industry and reduce emissions, and more decisive action against the liberals and the left to defend Christian and conservative values. The party has 20 MPs as part of the 230-strong PiS parliamentary caucus.
A citizens’ petition needs to obtain 100,000 signatures for parliament to be obliged to debate any legislative proposal. Parliament then has a year to debate the legislation, but it is not obliged to approve the proposal.