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MT 27 March 2016

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maltatoday, SUNDAY, 27 MARCH 2016 11 THE majority of Maltese people agree with euthanasia for patients suffering from terminal illness and disagree with the church's teachings on contraception, but overwhelm- ingly disagree with the depiction of religious figures like Mo- hammed and Jesus Christ in satirical newspaper cartoons. This emerges from a MaltaToday Easter survey held among 500 respondents, which assesses the state of Catholi- cism in Malta. The survey reveals sharp differences between different age groups with regard to attendance at Mass. While 65% of those aged less than 35 years do not attend Mass on Sunday, 74% of those aged over 55 years do. The survey also shows an overwhelming approval for the way Pope Francis is leading the global church but lukewarm approval for the way Archbishop Scicluna is leading the Maltese church. While only 12% judge Scicluna's leadership negatively, 47% express a positive judgement. On the other hand an over- whelming 93% judge Pope Francis's leadership positively. Yet in contrast to Pope Francis's highly politically charged pontificate, marked by sharp pronouncements against indif- ference towards migrants and neo liberalism, a majority of the Maltese would like the church to speak less about ac- cepting migrants and tax evasion. The survey also shows sizeable minorities agreeing with the legalisation of abortion in the case of rape, and among those who do not believe in hell. Majority in favour of euthanasia The most striking result of the survey is widespread agree- ment with euthanasia in those cases where the patient suf- fers from a terminal illness and is suffering from unbearable pain. Among 18- to 34-year olds, 65% of them agree with the right to die in this specific circumstance. Moreover 54% of the university educated and 59% of those with a post secondary education agree with euthanasia. The only categories opposed to euthanasia are those with a pri- mary level of education and respondents aged over 55 years. As yet only the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Colombia and five US states allow some form of doctor- assisted dying. Switzerland is one of the few countries that allow assisted suicide by patients administering a lethal dose of medication themselves. In 2015 the Economist asked Ipsos MORI to survey peo- ple in 15 countries on whether doctors should be allowed to help patients to die, and if so, how and when. Russia and Poland are against, but the survey found strong support across America and Western Europe for allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to patients with terminal diseases. In 11 out of the 15 countries surveyed, most people favoured extending doctor-assisted dying to patients who are in great physical suffering but not close to death. News 'We are not Charlie' Most Maltese are against depicting the images of Jesus Christ or Mohammed in satirical cartoons, but then again a new majority says it is in favour of legalising euthanasia. JAMES DEBONO polls the changing face of 'Catholic Malta' Comparison with past survey in 2008 Agree with abortion in case of rape Agree with euthanasia for terminally ill Disagree with church ban on contraception 30.6% 20% 52.6% 41% 77.3% 69% Atheist/Agnostic Only believe in God Catholic Muslim Other Christian 0.8% Jehovah's Witness 0.4% Other 1.3% 88.6% 4.5% 1.8% 2.6% The religious denominations of our respondents, above. The survey was held between 29th February and 4th March. A total of 723 respondents were contacted by telephone. The survey was stopped when a quota sample of 500 completed interviews was reached. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.4 percentage points. Over 51% of Maltese say they agree with euthanasia Over 77% don't agree with the Church on its condoms ban 40% of university- educated respondents don't believe in Hell

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