Freedom of Religion and State Secularism under the COVID-19 Crisis: The Case of Italy

In: Religion & Human Rights
Francesco Alicino Professor in Public Law and Religion and Constitutional Law at the University of LUM Jean Monnet Casamassima, Bari Italy

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This article analyzes the role of religious freedom and the principle of state secularism in Italy under the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, the author focuses on the Government’s anti-Covid-19 restrictive measures that have limited some fundamental rights, including the right to freely profess and celebrate religious rites in community; which has led to a lively debate. However, unlike in other Western countries, in Italy the debate has been confined to the sphere of scholarly disputes, while judicial scrutiny has been nearly nonexistent. That stimulates interesting questions concerning the pandemic long-lasting effects on important factors of Italy’s principle of secularism, including the method of (state-church) bilateralism and its connections with the right of religious freedom.

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