Nevada (US), July 13 (ANI): Hindus and Jews have appealed to various religions and denominations active in Malta to make efforts to bring equality of religions before the law.
Malta Criminal Code reportedly makes one liable to imprisonment up to six months for publicly vilifying "Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion", while committing such act against "any cult tolerated by law" makes one liable to imprisonment only up to three months.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a statement in Nevada today, said that besides Jews and Hindus, other minority communities of Protestants, Orthodox, other Christian denominations, Muslims, Baha'is, Wiccans/Neo-Pagans, people with "no religion", etc., should also strive for equal treatment of all religions and denominations before the Malta law.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and Rabbi Freirich, further said that as a dominating majority in Malta, Catholics also had a moral responsibility to take care of minority brothers/sisters from different faith backgrounds, and should thus also seek this equality treatment for all. Equality was the fundamental tenet of Judeo-Christian faith, of which Catholicism was a significant part.
Rajan Zed and Jonathan Freirich pointed out that it seemed to imply that except Roman Catholic, other religions and denominations including Hinduism and Judaism were just one of the cults in the eyes of Malta.
Zed and Freirich argued that it was perturbing to note that a country of European Union, which prided itself for its human rights initiatives, apparently treated crimes against religious sentiment of "other" religions/denominations as less serious than against majority religion and described religions/denominations other than majority religion as cults.
Venice Commission of Council of Europe in a report concluded that "offence of blasphemy should be abolished". It states core values of effective democracy as: pluralism, tolerance, respect for human rights and non-discrimination.
Maltese islands were first settled reportedly in 5,200 BCE. Few European countries have such concentrated architecture, history, and beaches in so small an area as Malta.