Catholic Church and Lithuania – why is Lithuania dominated by Roman Catholics?

23 04 2005

The Catholic Church established itself in Lithuania by force and violence. Even now, non-Catholics, especially pupils, do not feel safely there.

The statistic data at the beginning of the 21st century showed that about 80 percent of Lithuanians called themselves Catholics. In the Soviet times, there were as much as four times fewer Catholics.

Did a half of Lithuanian nation during the ten years start to believe that Roman popes are never wrong? – ‘Lithuania is an ancient Catholic country, the land of Maria’, – a Catholic or governmental propagandist would explain you easily.

The Catholic Church continuously persecuted the Lithuanian faith as well as Lithuanian language and culture

However, neither historical facts nor the Lithuanian present witness the sincere love of Lithuanians to Joshua from Nazareth or his mother – formal christening practically was the only way of survival during many centuries of Catholic domination.

Perhaps until the 18th century, Roman Catholics had the priority among world religions not only in terms of treachery, but also in terms of astonishing intolerance and inhuman cruelty. For instance, in order to carry out the pope’s order to christen the ancestors of the contemporary Latvians, Catholics decided to murder all the men older than eight!

For a long time, only Christians and Jews could survive where the Catholic Church was reigning. Therefore, the ancestors of Lithuanians who preserved the Lithuanian faith had to conceal their attitudes because Roman Catholics habitually cruelly murdered everybody who did not worship their Joshua or at least Yahweh.

(In the times of Jesuit domination, almost the same happened to Lithuanian Protestants; Catholics burnt down their churches and schools, where Lithuanian language was usually used. Many Protestants escaped into Prussia or America.)

True, Catholics did not execute because the use of Lithuanian language as such; their clerics usually limited themselves to continuous degrading of Lithuanians and Lithuanian culture.

The Lithuanian faith survived in the underground

In spite of all the persecutions, the Lithuanian faith survived; however, the Lithuanians who preserved it had to pretend being Catholics. The Lithuanian religion survived in its underground form, like Lithuanian identity and culture – as a personal faith, as a way of life.

The Vilnius cathedral

The Vilnius cathedral – the symbol of the biggest persecution and humiliation of Lithuanian culture and identity in the Lithuanian history. The cathedral was built in the place of a Lithuanian temple defamed by Catholics in the times of the harshest persecution of Lithuanian language, culture and identity by Catholics in Lithuania.

Nowadays, the leaders of the Lithuanian Catholic Church shamelessly exploit this fact by continuously claiming that the Lithuanian faith cannot even be recognised in Lithuania as a traditional religion because historically it has not had any formal organisational structure, as if their predecessors in the 15th–19th centuries would not have murdered every member of any community of the Lithuanian faith if it had officially announced about its existence.

The militancy of Roman Catholics did not disappear in the 20th century. During the interwar years, non-Catholics practically could not occupy any official positions in Lithuania, their children were frequently terrorised by young Catholics. Therefore, the Lithuanians who had preserved the faith of their ancestors did not hurry to show it in public.

The life of non-Catholics is not easy also in the Lithuania of the 21st century

Catholic propaganda has virtually overwhelmed the Lithuanian media. Catholic clerics obviously enjoy the absolute immunity from criminal responsibility; they freely engage in various activities prohibited by the penal code, and, despite of it, they are quoted by the media as the highest moral authorities.

The Catholic Church has practically occupied Lithuanian schools. By cynically ignoring Lithuanian constitution, Catholic education (‘religion’ – formally) is in fact included as an organic part of the official school curriculum.

The possibility to choose ethics instead of religion can produce a false impression of free choice. In many Lithuanian schools, the students who have chosen ethics usually attract special attention from their teachers and sometimes even classmates. Teachers often try to put to shame children of non-Catholics, especially non-Christians, and to create an unbearable psychological climate for them.

Lithuanians have to pay lip service to the Roman Catholic Church as they did in the Middle Ages


How many Catholics would remain in Lithuania if every Lithuanian were certain that both he and his children would not be persecuted if they did not call themselves Catholics?

The number of Catholics would not change substantially.

51-70 percent

30-50 percent

fewer than 30 percent

Therefore, even some of the parents who do not have any sympathies with the Catholic Church get their children baptised and make them perform other Roman Catholic rituals, so that the children can graduate from school without complications.

Thus, Lithuanians are learning to live in hypocrisy from the very childhood, as their ancestors did it in the 16th century – to pretend being Catholics in order to live normally in Lithuania. Calling themselves Catholics pays off also for adults because this is the best way to avoid unpleasant discussions with their religious colleagues.

Hypocrisy imposed by Catholics a long time ago again has become everyday routine; this is obvious in politics, where the ability to lie in cold blood in front of the cameras has become an attribute of a successful politician, as well as in the media, school and other spheres of public life in Lithuania.

Can Lithuania by religious discrimination and persecutions of children be made into ‘the land of Maria’?

Do the percentage figures of formal Catholics obtained by ancient Catholic methods suffice to call Lithuania a Catholic country and be proud of it? Do the figures mean anything at all? How many Catholics would remain in Lithuania if there was no need of hypocrisy?

What do you think about it?

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