Italian atheists lobby against church bells | world | Hindustan Times
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Italian atheists lobby against church bells

An Italian atheist group campaigning for a quiet life called for tighter restrictions on church bells ringing in the Tuscan town of Pisa, after complaints about the noise from locals.

world Updated: Aug 05, 2010 21:42 IST

An Italian atheist group campaigning for a quiet life called for tighter restrictions on church bells ringing in the Tuscan town of Pisa, after complaints about the noise from locals.

"The municipality is preparing new rules on noise pollution and we have sent our proposal, requesting that bells ring on bank holidays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm (local time)," the Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics said on Wednesday.

The URAA, which is also campaigning to ban crucifixes from display in Italian state schools, sent its proposal to the local council to be discussed in September, Giovanni Mainetto, the URAA's Pisa official, said.

"We have received complaints about the excessive noise produced by loud-speakers installed in Pisa's historical centre during religious processions that last well past 10:00 pm (local time)," the UAAR said in a letter.

The association argues that just as union demonstrations would be expected to take place in the daytime, the same should apply to religious processions.

On its website, the UAAR offers advice on how to combat the noise of church bells and refers to past cases of priests who have been fined for "seriously compromising" the peace and relaxation of residents living near bell towers.