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Italian Constitutional Court to Rule on Important Religious Issue

The Italian Constitutional Court heard a challenge to legislation adopted during the Mussolini regime in 1930 requiring each minority religious group to obtain permission before naming a new spiritual leader or opening a new house of worship.

The challenge, by a Minister of a Protestant sect, holds that the new post-war constitution guarantees full equality of all religions, giving minority groups the same rights as the Roman Catholic Church and nullifies the prior laws. A decision is expected soon.