CORRECTED: European rights court backs Italy over crucifixes in schools

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The European Court of Human Rights ruled Friday that displaying crucifixes in schools in Italy did not breach the rights of non-Catholic families, overturning a previous decision.

The court initially ruled in November 2009 that the display of crucifixes in Italian schools breached the rights of non-Catholics, drawing howls of anger from Church and political leaders in the staunchly Roman Catholic country.

In its ruling, the court said that "while the crucifix was above all a religious symbol, there was no evidence before the court that the display of such a symbol on classroom walls might have an influence on pupils".

The case was brought by Italian mother Soile Lautsi, whose two children attended a state school near Venice.

She was unhappy crucifixes were present in every classroom and complained to the school.

After education chiefs refused to remove the crosses, she spent several years fighting the decision through the Italian courts before taking the case to the Strasbourg court.

© 2011 AFP

2 Comments To This Article

  • Mrpants posted:

    on 18th March 2011, 19:27:27 - Reply

    If you go to live in Italy accept the culture of the country or go home. There is nothing wrong with symbols such as a crucifix. This case should never have gone to court. It is part of european culture; accept it or go live in atheist heaven: North Korea.
  • justin posted:

    on 18th March 2011, 17:58:25 - Reply

    the invisible man returns to get the minds of the young kids..And in Italy of all places,how gleefully counting there future herd today no doubt!