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In Poland, church and state draw nearer, and some Catholic faithful rebel

In Poland, church and state draw nearer, and some Catholic faithful rebel

For many Catholic Poles, their country’s heart beats in Czestochowa

CZESTOCHOWA, Poland (AP) — Dominika Gala grew up going to Mass with her grandmother and attending Catholic school in Warsaw. After her grandmother’s death in 2010, she began to drift away from the church.

A decade later, when the Catholic leadership backed a near-total abortion ban in Poland, Gala made her fervent disagreement clear.

She formally left the church in October 2020, just weeks after Poland’s top court closed a major loophole in the country’s abortion laws that were already among the strictest in Europe. She has since helped her mother and several friends leave, and now helps lead a civic initiative to limit religion’s role in public life.

“There’s a strong link between the church and the bad things happening in Polish politics,” Gala, now an atheist, told The Associated Press.