There is now majority support in parliament for an end to the ban on blasphemy because VVD Liberal MPs have thrown their weight behind the plan.
The VVD refused to support efforts to lift the ban during the life of the previous government in order not to upset the fundamentalist Christian group SGP, whose support was needed in the upper house of parliament.
The D66 Liberals and Socialist party have drawn up a private members bill to have the blasphemy laws scrapped from the statute books, news agency ANP reports. This is a ‘milestone in terms of criminal law‘, a spokesman for D66 said.
The blasphemy legislation dates from the 1930s.
The SGP said the decision to remove the ban on blasphemy is a ‘painful loss of a moral anchor and a symptom of a spiritual crisis’. The party believes the Netherlands should be governed according to Biblical principles and has three seats in the lower house of parliament.
Should we retain the blasphemy laws? Have your say using the comment box below.