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Italian Parliament Grants Offical Recognition to Hinduism and Buddhism
Hinduism Today Magazine ^ | December 15, 2012 | and Hindu Press International,

Posted on 12/19/2012 4:22:34 PM PST by Jyotishi

Italy, December 14, 2012 ( [HPI notes: This article is a translation of the original Italian language article. The Hindu population of Italy is at least five times greater than the number mentioned here.]

A new milestone for religious freedom and equality between religions in Italy: The parliament has finally approved an agreement with the Italian Hindu Union (Sanatana Dharma Sangha) and the Italy Buddhist Union. These religions will now have the ability to open schools and have access to limited state funding. Article 8 of our Constitution provides for freedom for all religions that do not conflict with Italian law. And now, finally, not only the three great monotheistic religions will enjoy this right, but also Buddhism and Hinduism.

The adherents of these two religions can also take advantage of spiritual care; their religious marriage ceremonies will have the same legal status as civil unions and there will be better protection of their places of worship. It's a great step forward towards the integration of immigrants belonging to these faiths, who will finally feel respected and taken into account by the State. And above all, this event is a great affirmation of the concept of the secular state which should have an equilibrium of religious liberty for everyone, institutional separation between religions and equal representation in criminal matters. Consequently, all religions will be equal.

The Buddhists associated with the Italian Buddhist Union number a healthy 70 thousand. In addition there are 60 thousand faithful to a Japanese Buddhist movement. Hindus are approximately 5,000, of which half are Italian.

Following the yes vote of the Italian Senate (Senato della Repubblica) in September, Senator Stefano Ceccanti of the Democratic Party had said: "It's an extremely important act which demonstrates the capacity of the system for the expansion of religious freedom outlined by the Italian Constitution, the ability to go beyond the traditional Judeo-Christian context."

Matthew Mecacci, President of the Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet, Vice-President of the Nonviolent Radical Party and chairman of the General Committee On Democracy and Human Rights at OSCE commented that: "This is a historic achievement, which has been eagerly anticipated for more than 30 years by Buddhist Italians. It's an act of modernity, which expands religious pluralism in our country and that I hope will pave the way for the adoption of a law on religious freedom "


TOPICS: Current Events; Other non-Christian; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: buddhism; freedom; hinduism; italy

1 posted on 12/19/2012 4:22:41 PM PST by Jyotishi
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To: Jyotishi

When I last visited Italy in 1966, the whole country was Roman Catholic, with the exception of the Communists, and the only ethnic minorities were some German-speakers in the north, French-speakers in the northwest, and Slovenian speakers in the northeast. To me, as a visitor, the rest of the country seemed purely Italian.

It sounds as though I wouldn’t recognize Italy today.

2 posted on 12/19/2012 4:49:48 PM PST by Fiji Hill (Io Triumphe!)
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To: Fiji Hill

Italians will be a rump minority in their own land in 50 years. Diversity’s great, except for western peoples. I also don’t get why the taxpayer has to fund these religions, though they probably get taxed for the RC church.

3 posted on 12/19/2012 9:53:28 PM PST by Amberdawn
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To: Amberdawn
I know the overall Italian fertility rate is way, way, WAY down at the suicide level. In Bologna, for each baby born, two people die. The population dropped almost 20 percent in just 25 years.

In 50 years, half the Italian population will be over 60.

No pensions, no Social Security then, you can be sure of that: nobody to pay for it.

Are the Hindus and Buddhists in a healthier sexual-reproductive mode? And if so, why?

4 posted on 12/20/2012 1:00:37 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("In Christ we form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:5)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I doubt Buddhists are reproducing at high levels, but will have to look into it. I imagine that both they and Hindu’s have smaller families.

5 posted on 12/20/2012 3:01:57 PM PST by Amberdawn
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To: Amberdawn; Fiji Hill; Mrs. Don-o
sorry, but it's an exaggeration to say that Italians will be a minority in their own land -- they have very low migration rates and they have no jobs, so fewer opportunities for immigrants. It's a nice place to live but there is no work and very little money as the cost of living is very high compared to salaries

The Hindus and Buddhists there are small in number and will remain small in number.

6 posted on 12/20/2012 11:40:34 PM PST by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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