Italian town introduces blasphemy law with £360 fines handed out to anyone who ‘offends any faith or religion’
- Officials will issue fines of up to €400 (£360) to individuals who break new law
- Walter Stefan, the Mayor of Saonara, said it was designed to ‘respect the faithful’
- Mr Stefan, a devout Catholic, said the law was designed to protect all religions
An Italian town is introducing a new law making it illegal to ‘blaspheme against any faith or religion.’
Officials from Saonara, in northern Italy, will issue fines of up to €400 (£360) to individuals who break the new law, as part of a raft of new rules to tackle uncivil behaviour.
Mayor Walter Stefan, told The Telegraph: ‘Blasphemy is offensive, it offends me.
‘With this law you will not be able to cause offence to any religion, we have to respect the faithful.’
Officials at Saonara will issue fines of up to €400 (£360) to individuals who break the new law in Saonara (pictured)
Mr Stefan, a practicing Catholic, emphasised it was not only designed to protect Christianity from offence, but all faiths.
He added: ‘It is valid for Allah, Buddha or Mohammad.’
The new law is part of a wider package of rules to try and tackle uncivil behaviour.
For example, people must not walk their dog without a leash or dump rubbish in public places.
Mr Stefan added: ‘We have taken a series of measures to contain all those uncivilised activities that make coexistence difficult,’
‘It will no longer be possible to cut the lawn at certain times, dogs must be kept on a leash and those who are blasphemous will pay the consequences.
‘We want to send a message that incorrect behaviour will no longer be tolerated.’
A number of messages will be sent to residents in multiple languages to warn them of the new rules.
Saonara is a town of 10,000 people within the municipality of Padua, located approximately 16 miles southwest from Venice.