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Photos of Polish Christians Posing with Their Guns

PLUS: An Interview with Father Chojecki, the man behind the campaign.

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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

This article originally appeared on VICE Poland

A tattooed young man with a trimmed beard poses for a picture, in front of a slightly campy painting of Jesus. He's holding a black shotgun with a couple of slugs attached to it, while standing next to him is a little girl in red glasses, holding a figurine of the White Eagle – a national symbol for Poland. The picture was recently posted on the Facebook page for #jestemchrześcijaninem [#iamachristian], and went viral – at the time of publication it has been shared 3434 times. On this Facebook page, you'll find tons of similar pictures – Polish people declaring their faith by posing with A) a home-made sign saying they're Christians and B) a pistol, shotgun or assault rifle.


jestemchrześcijaninem was initiated by Father Chojecki, a parish priest at the New Covenant Church in Lublin. The church is an independent community established by what Chojecki calls "former Catholics". Chojecki is famous for demanding the death penalty for president of the European Council Donald Tusk, for calling the pope "one of the worst threats to civilisation" and for working with Marian Kowalski – the presidential candidate of the far-right nationalist Polish National Movement.

The brains behind the operation, Paweł Chojecki

Chojecki launched the #jestemchrześcijaninem initiative after the Umpqua Community College shooting last year, where a student killed eight people – reportedly asking his victims whether they were Christians or not. After that tragedy, then US presidential hopeful Ben Carson shared a picture of himself holding a piece of paper that said "I am a Christian". "In Poland we slightly changed the idea," Chojecki told me, "combining the statement of faith with firearms displayed in a non-threatening way."

Since I can't see how a gun held alongside a religious message can ever be interpreted in a non-threatening way, I asked Chojecki to explain to me how he unites his love for guns with his love for Jesus.

VICE: Father Chojecki, why does a Christian need a firearm?
Paweł Chojecki: Christians, like all honest people, need weapons to defend themselves, their loved ones and their territory. We aren't in heaven yet, we live in a world full of sin and evil. It would be very naive to think we don't need weapons.


But Christianity is the religion of mercy – growing up in a Christian household, I was always taught I should follow Jesus' example and turn the other cheek.
You can turn the other cheek when someone offends you, not when someone wants to kill you. Mercy is an act of grace. You give mercy to defeated enemies – but you still need to defeat those enemies first. How can you show mercy if somebody is trying to slit your throat? Many Christians forget that Jesus taught us to be sensible and buy a sword: "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one." (Luke 22:36).

What about pacifism?
Pacifism is a deceptive ideology made up by wolves in sheep's clothing. The lie of pacifism makes Christians vulnerable to attacks of terrorists and killers that go unpunished. And this idea of pacifism makes a caricature of Christianity – like we're a bunch of hippies. It turns reasonable people away from Christianity.

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So how do you figure universal access to firearms would stop people from shooting innocent victims?
Universal access to guns wouldn't mean that there's no control on who can buy firearms. Only law-abiding adult citizens would be able to buy them, not children or people with mental health issues. Plus: we should have the right to self-defence. If we could have both those things in Poland, I think we'd see the same kinds of things happening as in Texas recently, when clerks at a jewellery shop defended the shop from armed robbers – even killing one of them. You won't need the police.


The US, a Christian nation with pretty easy access to firearms, has one of the highest homicide rates in the West. Why are you so convinced that freer access to guns would have a positive effect on safety in a country?
The United States are a huge country and the accessibility to firearms is different in every state. So the combined results may be misleading. As Christians, we put morality and spirituality first – only Jesus Christ can transform an evil man into a good one. But once an evil man decides to use weapons, he can be only stopped by a good man carrying a weapon. We started #jestemchrzescijaninem in order to stop the spread of pacifist lies in churches.

There are Christian websites calling your statements "anti-Christian" and your church a "sect".
Jesus warned us: "Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets." (Luke 6:26). In fact, Jesus himself was accused of contacts with demons. The attacks from Catholic websites only confirm what we do is necessary and that the lie has spread among Christians.

More on VICE:

Click, Print, Gun: The Inside Story of the 3D-Printed Gun Movement

What It's Like to Get Shot in the Head

The Primary School Teacher Who Turned Out to Be a Gun-Carrying Coke Dealer

A commendable attitude! Thank you!

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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"


A commendable attitude! A hearty thank you for joining us!
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Marian Kowalski is with us! #share (y) Want a t-shirt like this? Write to us!
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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
In honour of the Roseburg victims and all the people killed for their faith in Jesus.