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Pastafarian dropped from NEOS party

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Pastafarian dropped from NEOS party
Niko Alm. Photo: APA/GEORG HOCHMUTH
10:10 CEST+02:00
The liberal NEOS party has dropped Niko Alm, a ‘Pastafarian', as its religious speaker, admitting that it had been a “mistake” to appoint him.

Alm, who was also one of the initiators of an anti-church referendum in Austria, became the target of attacks from the conservative ÖVP party during the EU election campaign. The ÖVP said that Alm's support of the Pastafarianism movement meant the NEOS were ridiculing religion.

Pastafarianism promotes a light-hearted view of religion, worshipping a ‘flying spaghetti monster’, and opposes the teaching of creationism in schools. Although followers describe Pastafarianism as a genuine religion, it is generally seen as a parody religion.

NEOS party leader Matthias Strolz told the Wiener Zeitung that Alm had done some “great” work for the party but that it had been a mistake to appoint him as a religious spokesman.

Strolz said that he will take over the role himself. He added that religion and the church were not central themes for the NEOS, but he did not want the party to wear itself out with squabbles over issues such as this.

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