Malta Repeals Blasphemy Law

The parliament of Malta has voted to repeal the country’s law that criminalizes the vilification of religion, reports the End Blasphemy Laws campaign.

The island nation of Malta has become the latest country to scrap its “blasphemy” law. In abolishing the law against “vilification” of religion, Bill 133 in a victory for free expression and freedom of religion or belief.

The traditionally Catholic country previously outlawed “vilification of religion”, with “vilification” very loosely defined. The law meant that speech against beliefs and ideas (as opposed to incitement to hatred against individuals) could be prosecuted. And the law was frequently used to prosecute or threaten prosecution, often for flimsy “crimes” such as swearing on the streets.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna lamented the news by stating it was a “sad day” :

“Demeaning God and man indeed go hand in hand. A sad day for Malta. Lord forgive them: they do not know what they do.”

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