If it sounds impossible that a
supposed democracy would
deny the bona fides of a genuine
religion in order to persecute it,
lets not forget that the Nazis did
precisely that to the Jewish
people in the 1930s.
o prevent a repetition of the persecution of religious minorities in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, the countrys post-war Constitution guarantees the right to religious freedom and practice. However, to circumvent the Constitution and justify their attempts to deprive members of the Church of Scientology of their civil rights, German officials have bluntly asserted that Scientology is not a religion.
Those who know little or nothing about Scientology may wonder what is wrong with this assertion. The answer is, everything.
Founded by writer and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a religion in the oldest sense of the word. Like all true religions, Scientology helps man to realize his inner divinity.
It has been recognized as a religion by courts, scholars and agencies in numerous countries, including the United States, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many others. In all, the religious bona fides of Scientology have been upheld in more than 100 courts, including the United States Supreme Court, the Italian Supreme Court and the Australian High Court. There have been more than 30 court decisions in Germany acknowledging the religious nature of Scientology. Twenty-eight internationally renowned expert authorities in religion conducted their own studies and independently came to the conclusion that Scientology is without question a religion.
Furthermore, the United States government decided in 1993, after an examination of Scientology, unprecedented in scope, that Scientology is a bona fide religion and that its churches and social reform organizations are fully tax-exempt.
But this is not the impression that certain German Government officials would want the world to have. Because the Constitution makes discrimination against the Scientology religion illegal, these officials simply ignore the court rulings, scholarly expertises and governmental acceptances. In this way, they think they can make their assaults on Scientologists appear justifiable and evade their responsibilities under the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.
As a dozen international religious scholars recently pointed out in a public statement directed at German Government leaders, these arbitrary decisions are based not on an impartial study of the facts, but on irrationality and prejudice.
Practicing Religious Intolerance Continued
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