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Church service for political prisoners closes Mene Tekel festival

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Prague, March 4 (CTK) – A church service for political prisoners who were executed or tortured to death was held in Prague’s St Vitus Cathedral at the close of the week-long Mene Tekel festival against totalitarianism on Sunday, celebrated by Prague Archbishop Cardinal Dominik Duka.

Representatives of other Czech churches, as well as the Confederation of Political Prisoners, the Czech Sokol sports community and Scouts, attended the service.

Duka voiced concern about Czech society forgetting the values on which it arose after the 1989 fall of the communist regime.

“As if we wanted to forget, deny and trample on all the facts on which our freedom arose after 1989,” Duka said, assessing the situation in the country 70 years after the communist coup of February 1948.

He remembered victims of the communist regime and praised the spiritual strength of those who did not succumb to repressions and did not betray people close to them.

“I wish everybody to go successfully through their lives with clean conscience,” Duka said.

The service was also celebrated for current Christians who face persecution in various parts of the world, such as China, Iraq and African countries.

The final speech in the cathedral was given by Nigerian Archbishop John Onaiyekan, who highlighted some problems the Christians face in Africa.

Duka said there are still places in the world where people die due to their religion.

The Mene Tekel festival is annually held on the anniversary of the 1948 communist coup in Czechoslovakia. It is aimed to highlight the historical milestones of the Czechs and other European nations and present testimonies about the unlawful nature of totalitarian regimes. It includes exhibitions, seminars, performances and other public events.

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