Continued respect for the crucifix by Italy’s government

The custom of displaying a crucifix in classrooms is an age-old tradition in Italy. The present civil obligation allegedly dates back to royal decree no. 4336 of 15 September 1860 of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, which provided: “Each school must without fail be equipped with … a crucifix”.

This obligation was maintained under subsequent regimes.  Confirmed by a series of regulations in the 1920s, it was not abolished by the 1984 revision of the Lateran Pacts which put an end to the State religion; further, it was expressly confirmed on 3 October 2002 in an instruction by the Minister of Education.

Quote source

Puppinck, G. (2011). The case of Lautsi v. Italy: a synthesis [Article presented at the Eighteenth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, “Religious Freedom in a Pluralistic Age: Trends, Challenges, and Practices,” 2-4 October 2011]. Available Last accessed 1st May 2017


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