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Hoping for peace in Poland


New political parties offer hope that justice will be pursued

July 18, 2024

An International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia service is held in May 2023 at the Reformed Protestant parish in Warsaw. (Contributed photo)

It is an unbelievable paradox that in the recent years, Poland was ruled by a political party with “justice” (and “law”) in its name. Meanwhile, these years brought no justice to many marginalized groups in Poland, and since there was no justice, many spheres of life lacked peace.

LGBT people could not feel safe when hate speech and hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity were not penalized, and justice for violence, including that perpetrated by state authorities, could not be pursued. Nor could they lead peaceful and carefree lives when there was no marriage equality or even civil partnerships to safeguard their loved ones and families, including their most vulnerable members — children. No justice: just insecurity.

Women were not trusted to take informed, independent decisions about conception and maternity, and often could not seek justice to terminate their pregnancies legally. And when their lives were at stake due to serious pregnancy complications, doctors were afraid to treat them, for fear of suspicion of illegal abortions. These doctors bought their peace from harassment by the authorities by failing their patients. This peace was no fruit of justice.

People with disabilities and their families were denied justice, too. They were either left alone in their daily struggles or treated as a political asset, with little consideration for their dignity. Decreasing financial benefits for disabled people and excluding their families from state support — but also from the right to earn their own money: This is no justice; this is neglect.

Immigrants and refugees from places of war and poverty, seeking asylum in accordance with international laws, were also not treated with justice, but pushed violently through the border, day or night, rain or snow — children, women, the elderly and the sick. Meanwhile, government officials sold visas to other immigrants for bribes. No amount of “justice” in the name of the political party can make it right.

The October parliamentary election has been a game changer. New political parties at power are not a guarantee of ultimate justice — no one on Earth can be. However, they give us hope that justice to those who are weak, vulnerable and smaller in numbers will be pursued. And the fruit of justice to the underprivileged will always be peace.

Uschi Pawlik, Member of the Faith and Rainbow Foundation, Mission Crossroads

Today’s Focus: Hoping for peace in Poland

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Vianniffel Martinez, Housekeeper, Stony Point Center, Presbyterian Mission Agency  
Brad Masters, VP Business Dev. & Financial Advisor, Trust Services, Presbyterian Foundation 

Let us pray

Gracious God, you have faithfully walked with us through all these years. As we look toward the challenges ahead, lead us in the ways you would have us walk. Amen.

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