By Wayne Jackson Influence is a powerful thing. Every person both influences and is influenced by others in varying degrees.
Feedback Just past the Polish border, passengers traveling by train from Berlin to Warsaw can see Jesus. He is meters feet tall, made of concrete, and towers over the surrounding fields near the town of Swiebodzin, a gilded crown perched nobly on his head. His gaze is directed over the Recaro plant, which makes car seats and is the region's biggest employer, and toward the setting sun.
His outstretched arms seem to suggest that he wishes to take the Western heathens into his heart. The plaque at the base of the giant religious statue says that Jesus Christ is the true king of Poland and will rule for eternity.
It is not for nothing that the country is, in the eyes of the church at least, Europe's most Catholic nation. Yet despite the monumental redeemer, Swiebodzin has not become a pilgrimage site. Much to the annoyance of Father Sylwester Zawadzki, who is responsible for the socialist-realist version of Christ.
That, in any case, is what Roszczuk reports. Christ's realm is not necessarily of this world, he says, at least in Swiebodzin. Most locals, he suggests, are concerned about the baptism or first communion of their children and "would rather not spoil things with Father Zawadzki. Yet loyalty to the church is waning.
Even the conservative Catholic publicist Tomasz Terlikowski estimates the true number of devout Catholics at little more than 20 percent. Quickly Declining Influence Only slightly more than 44 percent of young people say they go to church on Sundays, compared with 62 percent in Forty-two percent admit that they do not observe all religious commandments.
Hardly anyone pays attention to rules about things like sexual abstinence before marriage anymore. The number of illegal abortions runs into the hundreds of thousands every year.
In addition, four-fifths of Poles are bothered by the fact that the church regularly intervenes in politics. It is a development that stands in stark contrast to the unique role the Catholic Church as long played in Poland -- as a kind of protector of the nation.
This relationship dates back to the time when Poland was partitioned. In the 18th century, Protestant Prussia, the Orthodox Russian Empire and Austria divided up the old aristocratic republic amongst themselves.
The Catholic faith served as the glue binding together Poles in the divided regions, and the church kept the idea of reunification alive.
That dream only materialized between the two world wars. The so-called Second Republic was a multi-religious entity that consisted of Jews, Protestants and Orthodox Christians -- and only about 60 percent Catholics. Ironically, it wasn't until the Communist People's Republic was established afterwith the help of Josef Stalin, the renegade son of a priest, that Poland became almost exclusively Catholic.
The Protestant Germans were driven out after the Nazi occupiers had almost completely exterminated the Jewish population.
Untilthe church portrayed itself as a national bulwark against communism, which was perceived as "un-Polish. A Catholic priest who was associated with the Solidarity trade union and a confidante of strike leader Lech Walesa, Popieluszko was kidnapped and beaten by the secret police in He was bound and thrown into a Vistula River reservoir, where he was later found dead.
Failed to Keep Up After the fall of communism, politicians of all stripes were careful not to lock horns with the Catholic leadership. The church was given priority when it came to returning expropriated property, the episcopate received favorable tax treatment and religion was reinstated as a required subject in schools.
Still, the church has failed to keep up with the modern age, says Barto. Many of his fellow Poles agree. After joining the European Union, Poland turned to the West and embraced the Western lifestyle more than almost any other country. Nowadays, Polish women dream of careers, self-fulfillment and children.
Hundreds of thousands of young Poles live together without being married.In Europe, during Medieval period Church had a great say in the matters of State and also it owwned a lot of land and wealth.
At that time you can imagine the influence of Catholicism on European Culture. Church Law & Tax ; Christian Bible Studies European Christianity's "Failure to Thrive" opposed to even the most cursory mention of Christianity's historic influence in the European Union's.
During the reign of Clovis, Christianity began to lift Europe from the Dark Ages. The first step was the conversion of Clovis in Many barbarians had become Christians earlier, but most of them held the Arian doctrine, condemned as heresy by the Roman Catholic church.
The role of Christianity in civilization has been intricately intertwined with the the Christian Church has been a major source of social services like there will be no demur in recognizing that iridis-photo-restoration.comct's Rule has been one of the great facts in the history of western Europe, and that its influence and effects are with us to this day.
The church was a social place as well as a place of worship. Christian rituals and faith were part of the fabric of everyday life. Priests and clergy guided people on issues of values and morality. Today, with the country changing rapidly, the church's influence is quickly waning. Once considered the most Catholic country in Europe, the faithful are vanishing.