Police officers have arrested a man suspected of destroying a cross in a residential area in the Polish town of Zielona Góra. The man in question recorded the entire act of cutting down the cross using a saw and posted it online, with the video being shared by several social media users.
“The call for the ‘filing off Catholics’ in practice. Not only did the perpetrators profane a cross in Zielona Góra, they also recorded everything and posted it on Facebook,” wrote Daniel Liszkiewicz, the head of the TAI Interactive Media editorial office
Inhabitants of the town initially noticed the vandalized cross on Monday, who then notified their parish, which then reported the incident to the police.
A police investigation revealed that the man responsible for cutting down the cross had boasted about the act on social media. He had even conducted a campaign on Facebook to remove roadside crosses and referred to the words of Civic Platform (PO) MP Sławomir Nitras in his online entries.
At the end of August 2021, when Nitras’s words about “filing Catholics off their privileges” sparked a major controversy in Poland. The suspect had shared the MP’s statement on his Facebook group and added another quote of MP Sławomir Nitras: “I believe that during our lifetime, Catholics will become a minority in Poland.”
The man added that “it was high time. I hope common sense will prevail.”
On Tuesday, the regional police spokesperson, Marcin Maludy, stated that the man responsible had been detained.
“Following an intensive investigation, police officers from Zielona Góra have detained a 31-year-old man who may be responsible for destroying the cross,” Maludy wrote on Twitter.
The police procedure over the incident is based on article 196 of the Polish penal code, which concerns responsibility for insulting religious beliefs. The suspect faces up to two years in prison.