STRASBOURG — Italy violates parents’ right to educate their children along secular lines by displaying crucifixes in classrooms, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday.
The judgment sparked anger in Catholic Italy, with the country’s education minister attacking the decision, insisting the crucifix was a “symbol of our tradition”.
The Strasbourg court found that: “The compulsory display of a symbol of a given confession in premises used by the public authorities… restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions.”
It also restricted the “right of children to believe or not to believe,” the seven judges ruling on the case said.
The case was brought by Soile Lautsi, who was also awarded 5,000 euros (7,400 dollars) in damages.