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» 06/30/2010
INDIA
For atheist human rights activist, crucifix in Italian classrooms not against secularism
by 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
12/10/2009 INDIA – HUMAN RIGHTS
Human rights violated by extremism as well as religious and social discrimination
by Nirmala Carvalho
01/13/2011 INDIA
Indian activist: Freedom of religion, foundation of human life and democracy
by Lenin Raghuvanshi
10/29/2004 DOSSIER EUROPE - INDIA
Europe's deafening silence vis-à-vis Asia's persecuted Christians
12/16/2004 Turkey – EUROPEAN UNION
Brussels to decide Turkish bid to join EU
12/17/2004 TURKEY - EUROPEAN UNION
EU's Cyprus demand dismays Turkey

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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