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On the matter of the legal protection of religion, Sweden historically had a specific blasphemy law protecting religion as such. It was introduced by King Erik XIV in 1563 and followed by different Acts on this theme until 1949, when it was replaced by an Act on «Peace of Faith» which was a milder form of restriction. In 1970, this Act was abolished and a new Act was introduced on «agitation against a specific group of people» (SFS 2002:906). This Act is focused on minority groups of a specific “race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual orientation”. Thus, it is not the religion as such that is protected, but the group of people adhering to the religion. Religious faith is paralleled here with e.g. ethnicity or sexual orientation. This act has mostly been used in cases concerning agitation in relation to Jews and homosexuals. There is presently no act prohibiting blasphemy in the Swedish Law.

D 16 May 2014    APer Pettersson

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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