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Today, the Against the Tide TV channel will premiere a documentary film about a judicial crime that took place in Poland under the previous government of the Law and Justice party (PiS). The documentary “Pastor on Trial: Convicted of Criticizing Catholic Church and Polish President” is an outrageous story about a Protestant pastor persecuted using the state apparatus, ignored by the media and connected to the government.


In the online television channel that he founded, „Against the Tide TV,” Pastor Paweł Chojecki has been criticizing the Catholic Church for years over issues such as pedophilia, straying from Jesus’ teachings, and collusion with the authorities. (Every week, several thousand viewers watch his sermons about free grace salvation, without the need for sacraments and good works.) He called Polish President Andrzej Duda a coward for his lack of decisiveness regarding Russia. It was precisely for these reasons that pro-Russian and Catholic circles began a campaign against the pastor. They found an ally in the Prosecutor’s Office, led by Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro, which in 2020 charged the pastor with insulting President Duda and offending the religious feelings of Catholics. Poland has laws, compared by some to the so-called „blasphemy laws” in Islamic countries, where it is forbidden to insult the Quran or Muhammad. In Poland, this includes Article 196 of the Penal Code regarding the offence of religious feelings, which is primarily used to prosecute critics of the Catholic Church.

One of the auxiliary prosecutors in the pastor’s trial recently participated in a pro-Russian demonstration in Lublin. Another is being investigated by the Internal Security Agency (ABW); in February of this year, his books were confiscated as part of an investigation into the denial of Nazi crimes against Jews.

In 2021, Judge Andrzej Klimkowski of the Lublin District Court stated that Pastor Chojecki „attacks the Church as an institution” and sentenced him to 8 months of restricted freedom in the form of community service and ordered him to pay over 20,000 PLN in legal costs. Judge Wojciech Zaręba of the Lublin Court of Appeals upheld the verdict.

Pastor Chojecki’s hope, who is also the editor-in-chief of Against the Tide TV, lies in appealing the verdict to the Supreme Court, which can only be done by the Ombudsman or the Minister of Justice (who is also the Attorney General). There was no hope for this under the rule of the Law and Justice party, but the situation changed when the October 15 Coalition came to power last year.

Paweł Chojecki is the pastor of the Protestant New Covenant Church in Lublin.

The creators of the film are Szymon and Eunika Żuk. The film lasts 76 minutes. It is available on Against The Tide TV YouTube channel at this LINK and on our Facebook: LINK