Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Crucifixes in classrooms: Your views


The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against the use of crucifixes in classrooms in Italy.

The case was brought by an Italian mother who wants to give her children a secular education.

Below is a selection of your comments.


I thank the European Court for the right decision to render optional the exhibition of crucifix in public places such as schools and courts in Italy, as in all other European countries. Individual freedom and respect for religious beliefs and disbeliefs are helped by this ruling.
Roberto Paganelli, Rome, Italy

I am an Italian who has been living out of his country for the last eight years, in the UK first, and now in Venezuela. I applaud to the decision of the court and I consider myself very lucky because my children do not have to grow up in a country where religion appears to rule out many important aspects of the daily life of individuals.
Giovanni Rivas, Caracas, Venezuela

No religious symbols in the school! No religious symbols in all the public offices!
Marco Ghini, Cassino, Italy

As an Italian, and a teacher, I am glad that there will be no more crucifixes. Religious beliefs, whatever they are, are personal and have no place in the classroom (except religious studies, obviously). I, for one, am happy that Italy is finally leaving behind the indoctrination and stigma that comes from being associated with the Catholic Church. It can hardly be called "a tradition" to have them, as numerous parts of Italy, as with all of Europe, still have more remaining Pagan relics and idols than any other... and all Christian festivals were lifted directly from pagan ones to enable easier conversion and control of ordinary people.
Johnny di Girolamo, Brighton, UK

I absolutely agree with the rationale of the court's decision.
Joseph Bayada, Nicosia, Cyprus

Good for the humanists. Why should it be mandatory to "push" religion down a child's throat? It should be illegal for schools anywhere to hold or encourage the promotion of any religion during school time. Religion is not evidence based and should be a private family and personal matter, not funded by the state education system.
D Best, Carstairs, South Lanarkshire


Crucifixes should be allowed in classrooms especially in Catholic schools. We are called Christians because of that crucifix. Parents should understand that we are not upsetting anybody in any religion by having crucifixes in the classrooms, in our home, and churches. It is part of our faith and tradition. Please do not send your children to the places where there are crucifixes, if you don't like it. I will do the same to my child. I will not send her to Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist schools because I don't practice their faith. Where is our freedom of religion? Leave our crucifixes alone.
Wilma King, Brisbane, Australia

The European Court is wrong. I don't see how the use of any symbol can restrict the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions nor can it restrict the right of children to believe or not to believe. The parents who brought this case to court must have very little faith in their own beliefs. It's unfair on the vast majority of Italians who have a Christian background.
Margaret, Newport, Wales

We are proud of our Christian heritage. Italy is predominantly Christian country. Why should its people be prohibited from professing publicly what they believe in and inspire their young ones to keep up their faith. It's a shameful and degrading decision. What's going to happen to our future Christian orientated Europe?
Stephen G Micallef, Adelaide, South Australia

What's going on Westerners? Can one go to Saudi Arabia or Indonesia and tell them to put a ban on headscarves?
Justice, Modena, Italy

The European Court should have no power to dictate to schools what they must do such as removing crucifixes from classrooms. I am not surprised there is an uproar in Italy.
Margaret Hawe, Torquay, England

I'm so pleased the Italian government will appeal as this is a massive blow to the cultural identity of Italy.
Robert, Preston, UK

Yes, they should keep the crucifix. Italy is a predominantly Catholic country and has the crucifix as part of its heritage.
Jairos, Lusaka, Zambia

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