Polish Church canonizing victims of labor camps

Warsaw, March 7, 2024

At a labor camp for Polish children in Łódź. Photo: ipn.gov.pl At a labor camp for Polish children in Łódź. Photo: ipn.gov.pl     

The Polish Orthodox Church is honoring those who suffered in concentration camps.

The Council of Bishops of the Polish Church met on Tuesday, March 5, under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland to discuss a number of number of issues of Church life.

The resulting communiqué states briefly: “A decision was made to canonize people tortured to death in the labor camps.”

The statement does not indicate any names or the number of victims. It is also unclear if a group of gulag victims was canonized already on Tuesday, or if the Council’s decision will be carried out in the future.

The Serbian Orthodox Church has also canonized the victims of various concentration camps.

In 2012, the New Martyrs of Jasenovac were canonized, where half a million Orthodox Serbs were killed, many of whom died for their faith. In July of last year, the Church celebrated the canonization of 73 hieromartyrs of Gornji Karlovac who suffered during WWII, and the children who died in the Jastrebarsko and Sisak concentration camps in 1942-1943.

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