One of the foremost political objectives of the Polish authorities during the Stalinist era was to bring up a new generation of citizens free from the impact of the Catholic Church and religion. The youth laicization programme was implemented upon different levels and by resorting to assorted measures. One of them was the 'Sluzba Polsce' (Serving Poland) National Organisation (SP). Next to economic tasks and civil defence, the SP brigades and troops pursued also a political education programme. The practical aspect of the striving towards weakening the ties between members of the young generation and the catholic creed entailed various anti-catholic and anti-religious campaigns. The SP was used for sabotaging retreats, assorted religious ceremonies, visits paid by bishops, etc. Young people recruited to work in the brigades found themselves under even greater pressure. Far from their families, parish church and environment, they were entrusted to stalinist educators. The SP political cadre gradually forced through a ban on morning and evening prayers, and effectively opposed group prayers in tents and barracks, as well as the dispay of crosses and other religious symbols in lodgings. Sunday became a day for specially prepared activities aimed at breaking the habit af attending church services. Frequently, the brigades were burdened with additional work organised during the holidays and granted a special propaganda setting, a policy which resulted in numerous complaints and tension. The young people demanded conducive opportunities for cultivating religious practices. Complaints were written by their parents and protests were voiced by the clergy. In view of the increasingly harsh policy applied towars the Catholic Church since 1949, such protests remained ineffective. Generally speaking, in 1948-1953 SP played an infamous role of an organizer and executor of a programme aimed at laicization of the Polish young people, especially those of peasant origin
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