Children from the orphanage in Mariupol, saved from the war waged by Russia against Ukraine, are under the careful care of a group of American and Polish Christians from Protestant communities and from the Against the Tide TV, who cooperated in organizing the rescue mission, the director and employees of the resort in Kazimierz Dolny, as well as doctors. Unfortunately, some people became active and exposed children to further annoyances and unnecessary stress, leading to the entry of uniformed police and outsiders into the House of Journalists. “The children were frightened by the fact that uniformed people entered” – said the director of the resort, Dariusz Popławski. “What happened should be assessed unequivocally and very strictly, regardless of the motivation” – Michał Fałek from the New Covenant Church in Lublin added.
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On social media, there appeared some alarming posts about alleged problems with the lack of food or the removal of Ukrainian children who are in Poland as refugees. Outsiders, concerned about such news, made police officers enter the House of Journalists in Kazimierz Dolny on Saturday.
“Some local activists appeared […] with the suspicion that some harm is happening to the children of the orphanage. […] They did not say where they got these suspicions from. I guess, however, that it was from social media because I saw screenshots of posts that were later deleted, but they were posts alarming that something bad was happening here” – Michał Fałek reported on Against the Tide TV. He added: “It was not necessary to act this way on the spot and come with grievances, accusations – as if we or the Americans were guilty[…]”.
According to Dariusz Popławski, the director of the resort in Kazimierz Dolny, police officers came without first contacting him. The atmosphere of the talks was tense, and the children, who just entered a safe space after fleeing the war-torn country, could witness the whole situation. According to the director, the police received from the American guardians all the documents regarding the Ukrainian children and it turned out that everything was in order. Popławski did not hide his regret over how this matter was dealt with. “Disgust remained,” he said.
Reporting on the reaction of the Americans, Michał Fałek said that they were shocked. “They said that the worst thing that happened to them was that situation, on that day, in Poland. Going to Ukraine, seeing what they saw there, was not as stressful as what they were dealing with here when everything was supposed to be fine.”
After these events, pastor Paweł Chojecki appealed on Against the Tide TV to the authorities, police, prosecutor’s office, and local authorities:
“Do not treat Protestants as suspects by definition! I think that the religious field – the fact that it was the Against the Tide TV, the New Covenant Church in Lublin, and American pastors saving these children – that was the decisive factor for the officials or police officers to let themselves be tricked by haters, fools or Putin’s trolls so easily. If a parish priest or a Catholic bishop did it, there would certainly be no such reaction.”