Religion: Poland's New Building Boom

After a long ban, churches enjoy an unmatched expansion

During the 14 years he was Archbishop of Cracow, Karol Wojtyla was able to get only one major church built. The vast new edifice in the model socialist town of Nowa Huta was reluctantly allowed by a government that witlessly believed a deterioration of faith would follow a deterioration of facilities. After he became Pope in 1978, John Paul II did not forget the frustration. Preparing for his first trip back to Poland, in 1979, the Pontiff took advantage of his countrymen's continued fervor in opposition to Communism's ongoing freeze. In negotiating with a beleaguered regime that did not want to...

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