Pastors win an appeal for their vilification conviction in Australia

By August 25, 2005

Australia (MNN) — Two Christian pastors who were found to have “vilified Muslims” under the religious hatred law in Victoria, Australia, have the go-ahead to appeal their case to the Supreme Court.

Justices Peter Buchanan and Geoffrey Nettle said in the Court of Appeals that doubtful or contested interpretations of the state’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act should be resolved. They say the act might limit freedom of speech implied in Australia’s constitution. “There are matters of importance to the administration of justice in this state,” Buchanan said.

The court granted a stay on an order by Judge Michael Higgins that pastors Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot and Catch the Fire Ministries make public apologies through advertisements in The Age and Herald Sun at a cost of up to $68,000. The judge also ordered the pastors not offer such offending material in Victoria or in Australia.

Outside the court, Nalliah said it was a day to smile, adding that he was amazed that the he and Scot were sued when they constantly told everyone who heard them to love Muslims.

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