A protester was thrown out of a Polish church last weekend after unfurling a banner which quoted St John Paul II as saying “racism is a sin”.

Gabriela Lazarek was protesting at a Mass in Warsaw attended by Catholics participating in a Polish Independence Day march. An estimated 60,000 Poles took part in the annual event, which marks Poland regaining independence in 1918.

According to the Polish newspaper Ośrodek Kontroli Obywatelskiej, the Mass was celebrated by Fr Roman Kneblewski, known for his “nationalist” views, and many of those in attendance wore political insignia.

Mrs Lazarek said that she had not intended to unfurl the banner inside the church, but that during the homily the priest invoked the teaching of John Paul II, and she was so shocked that she stood up and displayed it there and then.

At this point, Mrs Lazarek claims, several attendees pulled her out of the church, shouting, “Get out! Get out of here!”

The full message on Mrs Lazarek’s banner read (in English translation): “Racism is a sin that constitutes a serious offence against God.”

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