European court: Crucifix acceptable in classrooms

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Friday that crucifixes are acceptable in public school classrooms, and its decision will be binding in 47 countries.

The ruling overturned a decision the court had reached in November 2009 in which it said the crucifix could be disturbing to non-Christian or atheist pupils. Led by Italy, several European countries appealed that ruling.

The case originated in Italy, and Friday's final verdict was immediately welcomed in Rome. "The popular sentiment in Europe has won today," said Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

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