- I think the idea came directly from the Holy Spirit –the host of the so-called Christ the King Television Channel commented on the campaign promoting gospel messages on billboards located in major Polish cities. They come in different versions, but each of them depicts the same image- Jesus Christ wearing a golden crown similar to the papal tiara. On closer inspection, the crown itself seems to consist of eagles’ wings joined together (probably a motif intended to remind the viewer of the Polish coat of arms). A scepter with an eagle on top completes the monarchical image and leaves no doubt what the authors wanted to emphasize- Jesus is the king of Poland.
The signs send various messages. For example, some of the slogans read: "For he must reign", "Salvation can only come through belief in almighty God”, "Jesus Christ King of Poland", "Christ, reign over us!", or "Lord, save us! We are perishing! Let’s put our trust in God, not in man".
The last one comes with a signature of the campaign’s initiators: "The Polish expat community in Chicago".
The billboards were brought to our attention by one of our readers.
Polish Americans on a mission to convert Poland
To find out exactly what kind of a Polish expat community is behind the campaign, we go to the website of the so-called Government Control Movement (Ruch Kontroli Władzy). It is an offshoot of another group, the Election Control Movement (Ruch Kontroli Wyborów), bringing together various individuals representing mainly nationalist and orthodox Catholic views. It was initiated by the community formed around the far-right Polish Newspaper Club (Klub Gazety Polskiej) before the 2015 parliamentary election to prevent alleged electoral fraud. On its website, the Government Control Movement states that the campaign was initiated by a private catholic radio from Chicago called Christ the King Radio – that the slogans are direct quotes from the gospel, and that it is an "evangelization" effort.
Citing information provided by the radio, the Government Control Movement lists the location of 21 “Christian” billboards. Accordingly, six of them are supposed to be located in Warsaw and its surrounding area, three of them in Kraków, two each in Białystok and Częstochowa, and one each in cities such as Gdańsk, Łódź, Lublin, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Wrocław, Poznań, and Olsztyn.
The ads started to appear in indicated locations around Poland at the beginning of August, but not all of them have been put up yet (at least not in Warsaw).
Christ the King Radio is running a fundraiser to finance the campaign. Separate accounts have been set up for donations in Polish Zloty and Euro currency.
A global mission?
The Chicago-based radio station additionally supports its effort to evangelize Poland with its own Youtube channel- the already mentioned Christ the King Television Channel (1,25 thousand subscriptions). In one of the radio shows, Father Marek Bąk from Łódź, probably the only place in Poland where the radio station is located, explained the idea behind the campaign. Father Bąk is one of the radio's regular commentators. In his interviews, he explains to Polish Americans the current situation in Poland. When asked about the coronavirus epidemic during one of his recent discussions, he was trying to convince his audience that the virus is “something like the flu” and that the epidemic is the perfect time for “saints to be victorious”. Everyone who thinks otherwise, Father Bąk said, has fallen victim to propaganda.
Discussing the billboard campaign with Father Bąk on the radio's Youtube channel, the host, Krystyna Kiwacz, began the interview with an unsettling statement:
-It seems that the evil forces have taken over the world to such an extent that most billboards only spread the message of our enemy, promoting demonic images with hidden Masonic signs. And it seems that there are no Catholics left here, that we’re simply not defending ourselves. We’re not letting ourselves be heard. That there is no counterweight to all this evil.
-Yes, we must put such signs on display. It cannot be that the world is taken over by people who do not recognize or accept God, so the billboards are our task. For one thing, they are signs, and there is content. Two, they show that we exist.
And their content is not just any kind of content, because their content, a short slogan, a short sentence, can have a great meaning that will encourage a prayer, a moment of reflection, that will cause someone to stop and think. The encounter with a Catholic billboard is not an empty encounter. It leaves a mark. And it is not a natural mark. It might be associated with God's grace and that what it is. And it wakes people up. It makes them wonder. This is exactly why we need them so much - says Father Bąk.
During the interview, the host expressed her hope that one day “catholic billboards” can be put up not only all around Poland but across the entire world.
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