Friday, March 06, 2009

German Court Orders Berlin's Anti-Scientology Poster Removed

In der Scientology Kirche Berlin v. das Land Berlin, (Berlin Administrative Court, Feb. 27, 2009) (full text in German), the Berlin Administrative Court ordered removal of an anti-Scientology kiosk that had been placed in front of Germany's Berlin Scientology Church by the government of the City of Berlin. Germany considers Scientology a business that takes advantage of vulnerable individuals. Intelligence officials have been monitoring its activities after last year considering opening formal proceedings to totally ban the Church. (See prior posting.) According to a press release from Scientology officials, the Administrative Court's decision found that in placing the large "Stop Scientology" poster on the kiosk, the city had violated the government's duty to remain neutral on religious matters. The action, according to the court, infringed Scientology's right to human dignity and to religious freedom under Arts. I and IV of Germany's Constitution. [Thanks to Susanne Reinthal for the lead.]