The World

Thousands of Roman Catholics signed a petition demanding more religious freedom in Czechoslovakia and won strong support from Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek. The rare public defiance of Communist authorities came in a petition calling for more religious education, more priests and bishops, and an end to religious persecution. Circulation of the petition began in December, and on Jan. 4, the 88-year-old cardinal added his name to a reported 5,000 signatures. About half of the nation's 15.5 million people are Catholics.

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