ADVERTISING
 
Friday, May 25   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
State and Religion
Should religious symbols be displayed in buildings of the public administration?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Milan, Italy
 

Places of worship controversy in Lombardy over a new restrictive law

New churches in northern Italy will need to have large parking sites and a “minimum distance” to other places of worship. Evangelicals fear “damage to freedom of religion” and denounce new rules might be “unconstitutional.”

SOURCES Evangelici.net AUTHOR Evangelical Focus TRANSLATOR Karen Brooker Villani 03 FEBRUARY 2015 10:50 h GMT+1
Palazzo lombardia Palazzo Lombardia, in Milan. / Lorenzoclick, Flickr CC.

Controversy has arisen in Lombardy regarding a new law which regulates the opening of new places of worship in the Region.



The law was approved by the centre-right majority after much deliberation with 43 votes in favour and 27 against. Those in favour say “the aim of the law is not to create restrictions but to introduce greater controls using commonly-shared rules so situations are avoided where individual town councils interpret the law in diametrically-opposed ways”.



Those opposed and the groups concerned say the law means an end to freedom and does not solve the problem of places of worship set up illegally and that complications will arise for those denominations who do keep the law.



 



CCTV, WIDE ACCESS ROADS, MINIMUM DISTANCE TO OTHER RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS...



Basically, according to the new law, the building of places of worship of any faith will be governed by certain urban restrictions such as the creation of ample parking spaces, “adequately wide” access roads, minimum distances from other places of worship (these will be established by the Regional Council) and further security guidelines such as the installation of CCTV “linked to local police offices or security forces”.



Furthermore, any approval will be subject to obtaining the views of “organizations, local citizen committees, members and representatives of the police forces as well as provincial police-headquarters and the prefecture. This approval will also be further subject to the discretion (though this remains undefined), of those responsible for maintaining the Lombardy landscape and a possible consultative referendum at town council level.



The new proposal is intended to avoid the indiscriminate opening of new places of worship and in particular to control the uncontrolled setting up of new mosques. To avoid any objections of unconstitutionality, the Region, instead of adopting the freedom of worship ethos, has decided to make use of urbanistic legislation, modifying and integrating the 12/2005 law on ‘Government of the Territory’. This tightens the relevant laws, specifically the laws which already bind the opening of new premises to the concession of building permits which require authorization whether building work is carried out or not.



Some modifications adopted to avoid unconstitutionality appeals (already announced, in fact, by opposition parties) have, in the last drafting, placed all religious organizations on the same level including those who already have agreements with the State and that would include, according to  some commentators, the Catholic church as well. Those organizations which do not have the same recognition will be subjected to further “preventative and compulsory” controls on behalf of a  Regional Board.



The local council will also be able to consult its residents by calling a referendum. The new legislation does not concern existing places of worship and freedom of worship and expression for religious minority groups and associations will only be affected logistically.



Viviana Beccalossi, the regional councillor for territorial affairs, applauds the approval of the law but Jacopo Sandella (head of the Democratic Party Territory Commission) is critical and believes the  new proposal will be ineffective. He explains, “It doesn’t change a thing for ‘shady’ cultural centres as, in any case, they will continue to be set up without any controls.”



 



EVANGELICALS SEE RISKS FOR BELIEVER'S RIGHTS



 



AEI.

The Italian Evangelical Alliance (AEI) has expressed its ‘worries’. The president, Giacomo Ciccone, has confirmed to Italian Evangelici.net: “We do not want to make premature or unfounded comments but we are weighing up possible traces of unconstitutionality in the approved text. It is a question that needs to be carefully considered,” continues Ciccone.



“If a Region can approve a law under these terms, it obviously means that religious freedom is widely lacking in our country. At AEI we have set up a Commission which is currently studying the text of the law in more detail and the real repercussions that there could be for the ever-growing number of evangelical churches in Lombardy”.



Massimo Aquilante, president of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy (FCEI) is also very critical and talks of “serious damage to democracy, peaceful co-existence and to the most important freedom of all, the freedom of religion and conscience. These are laws which are clearly anti-constitutional and undermine freedom of worship. They discriminate against people belonging to religious faiths outside that of the Catholic church and violate people’s privacy in such a sensitive and delicate matter as their belonging and practising a certain religious faith.”



The Episcopal vicar of the Catholic diocese of Milan, Luca Bressan, advises caution whilst waiting for the definitive text of the law to be gone into. “Given the relevance and delicacy of the subject” he has declared, “it is necessary for this legislation to be arrived at without haste and with consistency, otherwise the effects produced could go much further than originally intended”.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Places of worship controversy in Lombardy over a new restrictive law
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
What are the cultural roots of the transgender movement? What are the cultural roots of the transgender movement?

Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship (UK) summarises>the philosophical framework that made the transgender movement so popular.

 
Pitfalls that Christian artists should avoid Pitfalls that Christian artists should avoid

Delta David Gier, Conductor and Music Director, on some of the dangers for artists.

 
Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation? Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation?

“The reasons why somebody might have sex with a prostitute are very different from the reasons why somebody might want to have an affair with a member of their congregation”. An analysis by John Stevens, National Director of FIEC (UK).

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.