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    » 06/30/2010, 00.00

    INDIA

    For atheist human rights activist, crucifix in Italian classrooms not against secularism

    Nirmala Carvalho

    According to Lenin Raghuvanshi, “Human rights and democracy do not exist in a vacuum, in a value-neutral space. Denying the identity, culture and history of a society is a violation of secularism and human rights.”
    New Delhi (AsiaNews) – “The crucifix in Italian classrooms is not a tradition that goes against the values of secularism,” Indian human rights activist Lenin Raghuvanshi told AsiaNews.

    “A secular education means learning from history and logic. Jesus Christ brought peace, reconciliation, non-violence and justice in the world,” said Raghuvanshi who was just awarded the 2010 City of Weimar Human Rights Prize. “It is important that children study this historical personality.”

    For the activist, who is atheist, the future of democracy and human rights depends “on ethical views that are the basis of a culture,” which “cannot be separated from that culture without destroy it. Human rights and democracy do not exist in a vacuum, in a value-neutral space. Denying the identity, culture and history of a society is a violation of secularism and human rights.”

    The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, which acts as the institution’s appeal court, today began examining an appeal launched by Italy against a sentence the court itself issued on 3 November 2009 against the presence of the crucifix in Italian classrooms, deemed a violation of pupils’ religious freedom.

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    See also

    10/12/2009 INDIA – HUMAN RIGHTS
    Human rights violated by extremism as well as religious and social discrimination
    For activist Lenin Raghuvanshi, “the human rights situation in India is shameful”. Religious fundamentalism but also “torture by police” and the “collapse of rule of law” are to blame. The country suffers from a “mindset” that hurts the weakest and non-Hindu minorities.

    13/01/2011 INDIA
    Indian activist: Freedom of religion, foundation of human life and democracy
    Lenin Raghuvanshi comments on the Pope's address to the diplomatic corps to AsiaNews. Life and human dignity are related to religious freedom, the fundamental value of any society that calls itself democratic. If it is denied, the state is pushed towards fascism.

    29/10/2004 DOSSIER EUROPE - INDIA
    Europe's deafening silence vis-à-vis Asia's persecuted Christians

    John Dayal, president of the All India Catholic Union, hopes Europe will pay closer attention to the issue of minority protection in South Asia.



    16/12/2004 Turkey – EUROPEAN UNION
    Brussels to decide Turkish bid to join EU
    Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan says Europe should prove it is not a Christian club. France is in favour of Turkey's entry because it is in its interest but demands Turkey acknowledge Armenian genocide. European bishops state that the EU is forgetting Turkish violations of religious freedom.

    17/12/2004 TURKEY - EUROPEAN UNION
    EU's Cyprus demand dismays Turkey
    Orthodox  Patriarch hopes  for "a positive decision".



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