BERLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a landmark decision for religious freedom in Germany, the Berlin Administrative Court ordered the immediate removal of anti-Scientology propaganda placed by the Berlin City Administration on January 21, 2009 in front of the Church of Scientology of Berlin.
The Court found that the City’s actions violated the Church of Scientology’s right to human dignity under Article 1 of the German Constitution. The Court also found that the City violated the Church’s right to religious freedom under Article 4 of the Constitution.
In reaching these conclusions, the Court held that the City of Berlin had violated its duty of religious neutrality and its obligation to remain objective on religious matters. City officials had placed a kiosk in front of the Berlin Scientology Church that contained anti-Scientology propaganda urging the public to “STOP SCIENTOLOGY.” The court decision forced officials to rapidly remove the offensive kiosk, which they ruled served no justifiable purpose.
“The City’s actions amount to a hate campaign in complete violation of the law,” said Sabine Weber, president of the Church of Scientology of Berlin. “We are happy that the Court has reaffirmed our right to religious freedom.” In the last 30 years German courts have acknowledged the religious character of the Church of Scientology in more than 50 decisions.
The Church of Scientology is recognized as a major religion throughout the world in countries including Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Hungary, Italy, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and more.
For further information, visit www.scientology.org.
Background information in German at: http://www.menschenrechtsbuero.de.
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