The reception area and the waiting rooms at Malta’s state hospital and health centres are not the right places to display religious kitsch.

In their circular, government primary care officials pointed out that health centres “were public entities and should, therefore, be considered to cater towards the multicultural society” that Malta has become as a result of the massive influx of foreigners.

By revoking the circular, Health Minister Chris Fearne arbitrarily overruled his own officials. He was quoted as saying: “This is an issue of personal devotion that politicians should stay out of” (‘Inquiry into religious symbols ban decision’, April 9).

The deputy Prime Minister failed to make a distinction between “personal devotion” expressed in private and “personal devotion” displayed in front of a public that might not share the same beliefs.


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