The controversial bill against incitement to religious hatred would protect Satanists, pagans and atheists as well as followers of more mainstream religions, the Home Office said today.

Home Office minister Paul Goggins said the legislation, published today, would protect people against being victimised for "any religious belief or lack of belief".
The law is intended to extend to religious groups protections that exist under the ban on incitement to racial hatred. Sikhs and Jews, for example, are already protected by law, as they are considered ethnic groups; other faiths are not.

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