Iceland’s parliament has abolished its blasphemy laws, despite opposition from some of the country’s churches, reports the BBC.
A bill was put forward in response to the attack against the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, by Iceland’s minority Pirate Party, which campaigns for internet and data freedom. The Pirate movement was formed in Sweden in 2006 and has since spread to 60 countries, but has achieved its greatest success in Iceland where it gained three MPs at the 2013 elections.
The Catholic Church wrote in comments submitted after the bill was proposed: “Should freedom of expression go so far as to mean that the identity of a person of faith can be freely insulted, then personal freedom – as individuals or groups – is undermined.”
Most Icleanders (80 per cent) are members of the Lutheran State Church. A minority (five per cent) follow Asatru, the traditional Norse religion.