Freedom of religion and expression urged as Ireland prepares for blasphemy referendum

Posted Oct 19, 2018

[Anglican Communion News Service] Voters in Ireland will take part in a referendum on Oct. 26 to decide whether to abolish the country’s blasphemy laws. The Republic of Ireland’s constitution requires blasphemy – applicable only to Christianity – to be outlawed. But in 1999 its common-law offense was ruled to be incompatible with the constitution’s requirement for religious equality. A new statutory offense protecting any religion against “publication or utterance of blasphemous matter” was introduced in 2006; but now the public will decide whether to abolish the blasphemy law completely.

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