Polish court approves Catholic crucifix in parliament

WARSAW, Poland (AP) - A Polish court has rejected a complaint by non-believing lawmakers against the presence of a Roman Catholic crucifix in parliament.

Warsaw's Appeals Court on Monday disagreed with the views of some members of the Your Movement party, who said the crucifix violates their rights. Earlier this year the lawmakers appealed a similar verdict by a lower court.

The controversy illustrates a rising tendency in the predominantly Catholic Poland to remove religion and its symbols from the public space.

In 1997, at night, religious lawmakers placed the crucifix in the sessions' hall. In this way they ended a heated debate on whether it should be placed there as a symbol of Poland's ouster of communism and return to national, Catholic values.

Traditional respect for religion has kept it there.