The enactment of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 is the most recent legal mechanism developed to protect believers, beliefs and religious feelings in the United Kingdom. Despite the recognition of a certain degree of overlap between the different categories, this article proposes a broad distinction between legal devices which protect believers and those which safeguard beliefs and religious feelings. The common law offence of blasphemy is analysed, taking into consideration the response of both the UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights. The endorsement of the English law of blasphemy by Strasbourg is particularly relevant. Furthermore, this paper focuses on different instruments that, throughout the last few decades, have been articulated to protect the faithful, such as the crimes of religiously aggravated offences and the offence of incitement to religious hatred.
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