Sun Herald (Sydney), Sun 05 Jul 1998 - Letters, p62

Church persecuted

CLARIFICATION is required regarding the article on Scientology (June 21), as no German court decision exists which states that Scientology is not a religion, while 36 local and regional courts there have held that it is a bona fide religious community.

It appears that the German courts have had to shoulder the whole burden of being objective and just. The Government inquiry on new religions was roundly condemned by parliamentarians and scholars and solidly lampooned in Spiegel magazine as "a kindergarten of exorcists" which wasted more than $2 million of taxpayers' funds to produce little more than wild claims about the Church of Scientology. In Germany a snarling neo-Nazi thug beats up Turks and gets barely a telling-off from police, but a sincere religious group which rehabilitates self-respect and crusades against illegal drugs finds itself maliciously persecuted by the German Government. Scientologists are excluded from public service, denied business licences and loans, or are forced to take their children out of schools and kindergartens because of their religious beliefs. It is a recognised religion in Australia, the US and around the world.

In most western countries, human rights are accepted by virtue of their humanity. In Germany, the Government regards itself as the "benign benefactor" which grants people their rights as it sees fit.

Church of Scientology, Sydney

[Press articles on Scientology]