Lithuania Steps Into European Crucifix Debate

January 28, 2010

Author: Ruta Tumenaite

Source: Ecumenical News International

Lithuania has come out in support of Italy in its efforts to revise a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights that obliges State schools throughout Italy to remove crucifixes from classrooms. 

The online news daily, on 13 January reported that the Committee for Foreign Relations of the Lithuanian Parliament had decided to join the dispute with the European court, and to defend the right of believers to the public display of religious symbols. 

The committee took its decision following a request by the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which had received a letter from its Italian counterpart asking for support in their efforts to revise the court's decision that is due to come into effect on 3 February. 

"The public use of crucifixes reflects the Christian tradition of Europe, and should not be considered a restriction of religious freedom," said Lithuanian foreign minister, Vygaudas Usackas.