30 Nov 2012

Blasphemy law to be repealed

6:04 am on 30 November 2012

Parliament in the Netherlands has agreed to repeal a blasphemy law that makes it a crime to insult God.

A majority of parties in parliament said the law was no longer relevant in the 21st Century.

The legislation, introduced in the 1930s, has not been invoked in the last 50 years.

However, it still remains illegal under Dutch law to be disrespectful to police officers or to insult Queen Beatrix, the country's monarch.

Freedom of speech is a much-cherished right in the Netherlands.

In 2008, a coalition government decided against repealing the blasphemy law in order to maintain support from a Christian political party.