Pretentious and unconstitutional

  • In NEWS
  • February 26, 2015
The Italian Evangelical Alliance on the Lombard law on religious building and services There is no doubt that the new law of the Lombardy Region (Law N. 12/2015) is just a package that  puts a series of obstacles to make it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to build new places for worship for all religious minorities in the region. Actually  the same drafters of the law openly admit the banning intent  of the  new law. As a matter of fact  the previous vexatious rules in the Art. 72 of the “Law for the Government of the Territory” in 2005,  are now made much worse. We dare not to imagine what may happen from now on, with this new regional law which exacerbates even more the condition of religious minorities limiting widely their liberty. If a single region in Italy is able to approve such a law, it is clear that Religious Liberty is largely incomplete in our country, and that is even more imperative now to talk about the approval of a new Religious Freedom Law. The Evangelical Alliance is willing to represent this critical Lombard situation at various levels, both national and international bodies. HERE IN DETAIL THE CRITICAL POINTS  OF THE NEW REGIONAL LAW Paragraph 7, in the letters (a) and (b) requires only new places of worship to pay for the primary infrastructure (access roads, networks, utilities, etc.) despite the exemption provided by the Bucalossi Law (L. 28/01/1977, # 10, article 9 letter. F –  and confirmed by the DPR 06/06/2001, n. 380) for worship buildings. Letter c) refers to an “adequate” distance from other places of worship. Does it mean building them in the countryside, in defiance of the most basic principles of urban planning? Letter d) requires that parking areas around the new building be even bigger than those required for commercial buildings. Letter e) reaches the bottom line in that it prescribes a video surveillance over the whole building, payed by the religious group itself. Not even totalitarian regimes have ever ventured thus far! This regional law bluntly runs against Privacy policies (Act of the the Privacy Authority 29 April 2004 and 8 April 2010) which recommend for places of worship “high caution, due the risks of a discriminatory usage of the collected images and the sensitive nature of the information”. The disparity between existing places and new ones is clear: the first ones stand as they are, the latter ones have a long list of new requirements sometimes limiting the exercise of the fundamental right of Religion Liberty, expression and privacy. The spirit of the law is therefore to cut off new churches and new religious groupings from civic society. Paragraph 4 states that the local council and community needs to be involved in the decision through a consultive referendum. The exercise of a right is demanded to a majority vote.   This new law requires fanciful things which are lawfully wrong, economically heavy, and surreal in practical terms. The regional law is manifestly contrary to the Constitution that instead guarantees the inviolable rights of man (Art. 2), provides equal social status to all citizens regardless of their religious beliefs (Art. 3), enforces a space where all the churches are “equally free” (Art. 8, paragraph 1), in any associated form (Art. 19), protected by special restrictions (Art. 20).

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