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Prague Spring and clandestine religion

Only at the time of "the Prague Spring liberalisation" 1968 and even some months after the Soviet occupation of 21st August 1968 could the religious sisters in the border camps admit a number of novices. The number of children attending the voluntary religious education classes increased at that time, and their presence there did not provoke adverse consequences for them. Monks began to work underground.

However, from 1971 the persecution of religious communities was revived. All religious communities, especially the Catholic Church, became symbols of resistance during the communist regime. They created many underground activities, founded secret religious and lay groups, organized unofficial theological trainings (flat seminars) and ordinations, printed the religious literature. They were supported by all dissidents, and on the other hand many Catholic and Protestant priests and laymen took part in the civic resistence movement Charter 77.

In July 1985 both the official and underground Catholics organized a pilgrimage in Moravian Velehrad. In presence of the State Secretary of the Holy See and the Czech Minister of Culture, about 250 000 Catholics manifestated their desire for freedom.
In 1988 a Moravian railwayman prepared a petition for Religious Liberties in 31 articles. With the consent of the Prague Archbishop, it was signed by 650 000 Czechoslovak citizens.
Many protest actions were prepared in the time of the canonization of the Blessed Agnes of Bohemia (1989).

D 12 October 2012    AZáboj Horák

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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