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Law and Religion in EuropeA Comparative Introduction$
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Norman Doe

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604005

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604005.001.0001

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The Protection of Doctrine and Worship

The Protection of Doctrine and Worship

(p.139) 6 The Protection of Doctrine and Worship
Law and Religion in Europe

Norman Doe

Oxford University Press

Doctrine and worship are of central importance to most religious faiths. This chapter examines crimes against religious belief and doctrine — the offence of blasphemy (including its abolition in many States and its revival in others), defamation of religion, outrage to religious feelings, and a comparison of these offences. The chapter then discusses crimes against religious worship — the disturbance of religious worship, its relation to religious freedom, and the disruption of funeral rites. The chapter closes with an examination of the portrayal of religion in the media — how national laws and other regulatory systems address coverage of religious affairs in the press, radio, and television. National laws studied tell us much about how States approach the value of religion in society and how freedom of expression does not extend to the unjustified vilification of any religion.

Keywords:   prohibitions, vilification, religious worship, religious doctrine, defamation of religion, religious feelings, funeral rites, media

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