The Archbishop of Krakow has compared the LGBT rights movement in Poland to communism. Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski made the comparison in a pastoral letter to the archdiocese released on Sept. 28, as he announced a new initiative to encourage people to pray for Poland. 

In the letter, Jędraszewski said that the LGBT rights movement is "the next great threat to our freedom," and "of a totalitarian nature." He said that the movement, like that of communism, stems from a "radical rejection of God."

"As a consequence of this rejection, a new vision of man is being proclaimed in which he becomes a caricature of himself," said the archbishop. 

"As part of gender ideology, there are attempts to obliterate the natural differences between woman and man. Moreover, through the aggressive propaganda of LGBT ideology in the name of so-called 'tolerance' and 'progress,' that which is most sacred to us is mocked." 

Jędraszewski was also concerned that conscience rights were being eroded in the name of promoting the LGBT agenda, and that people of faith are being led away from "the principles of their Christian faith." 

"This clearly reminds us of the totalitarian times of the Polish People's Republic, when social advancement was guaranteed only to members of the Communist Party, and believers were treated like second-class citizens," he said. 

The Polish People's Republic, a communist nation, existed from 1947 until 1989. The Republic of Poland, a democratic republic, was established in September 1989. 

The archbishop voiced concerned that some of the country's kindergarten students are being taught sex education. These lessons run the risk of spiritually harming children, and are "clearly an offense to God the Creator," he said, adding that it is important that people remain vigilant against what he deemed an "anti-morality offensive." 

Jędraszewski concluded his letter by saying that from November 2019 through the end of December 2020, there will be a "prayer marathon" throughout the archdiocese. This will include half an hour of silent adoration prior to evening Mass in every church and public chapel, as well as a recitation of one decade of the rosary and requests for intercessions from St. John Paul II, who led the Archdiocese of Krakow before his election as pope in 1978. 

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The prayer marathon will mark the 40th anniversary of the saint's first visit to Poland as pope, and the 100th anniversary of his birth. 

That first visit to Poland helped to jump-start the anti-communist movement in the country. Dubbed "Solidarity," the organization rose up against the communist government in the early 1980s, resulting in the fall of communism in the country by the end of the decade. 

Unlike most European Union countries, Poland has not legalized same-sex marriage and its constitution specificially states that marriage is between one man and one woman. Public opinion polls in the country have repeatedly shown a widespread disapproval of same-sex unions, as well as a right of same-sex couples to adopt children.