Woman Held in Poland for Adding LGBT Rainbow to Revered Icon

WARSAW, Poland — A protest is planned in Poland later Tuesday after police held for a few hours a human rights activist on allegations she desecrated the country’s most-revered Catholic icon by distributing posters of the painting with the LGBT rainbow colors added to the halos of Mary and baby Jesus.

Prosecutors in the central city of Plock said the woman has been questioned and has heard charges of hurting religious feelings and desecration of the icon of Mother of God of Czestochowa, a painting housed at a monastery in Czestochowa, in southern Poland, since the 14th-century.

The activist, 51-year-old Elzbieta Podlesna, last month placed posters with the altered icon on walls, garbage bins and mobile toilets near St. Dominik’s church in Plock.

She defended her actions on private TVN24 Tuesday.

“This is certainly not an attack on religion, certainly not an attack on faith, this is not a form of attack,” she said.

“How can you attack anyone using a picture, let’s be serious,” she added.

Podlesna could face up to two years in prison or a stiff fine if convicted.

Earlier, Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski on Twitter thanked the police for their action and said that the principles of freedom and tolerance did not give anyone the right to hurt the feelings of believers.

Poland is predominantly Catholic and its government is conservative and pro-church. But the church has been under criticism for its continuing prominent role in state matters, and recently for revealing hundreds of case of sexual abuse of minors by priests.

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