The announcement by Dutch Culture Minister Sander Dekker that the government’s plans to overhaul the way public broadcasting in the Netherlands is funded, includes withdrawing subsidies for religious broadcasting, has infuriated the Catholic Church. At present religious groups are given £13 million a year to produce propaganda programmes, but this will end in 2016.
At present, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and humanists all have airtime on Dutch television, proportionate to their size. The Catholic broadcasting includes Sunday Masses, news features and a popular dating programme, “Farmer Seeks a Wife”. The minister’s letter said “small faith and philosophy broadcasters” would no longer be eligible for subsidies, a decision that would affect the Jewish broadcaster, the Roman-Catholic network and possibly a few others.
The Catholic bishop of Roermond, Frans Wiertz, was fizzing with fury at the prospect of losing this lucrative perk. “Religion is private – that’s a view we’ve heard more and more in recent years. The current cabinet is now trying to put this view into action.”
Written By: National Secular Societycontinue to source article at secularism.org.uk