Independent Lithuania (1991-present)
Pope John Paul II's triumphant 1993 visit to Lithuania is the subject of two unique DVDs. When, in 1991, Lithuania gained independence from the Soviet empire, its people reclaimed their religious liberties, and a great grassroots revival of Lithuania's Catholic traditions followed. The breadth of this revival is captured in these DVD records of John Paul II's visit, which follow the Pope as he tours such historic religious sites as Kaunas and Lithuania's legendary Hill of Crosses. The Hill of Crosses is a popular shrine that became especially celebrated in Lithuania's fifty-year struggle against Soviet control. Three times the authorities attempted to destroy the site; each time, thousands of crucifixes went up in defiance. Pope John Paul II's visit to the Hill of Crosses brought international attention to this distinctive symbol of faith, nationalism, and the struggle for freedom.