STAND Condemns Religious Discrimination in Bavaria
Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND), an international movement of concerned Scientologists, denounces in the strongest possible terms Bavarian state government discrimination against an employee of Munich’s Haus der Kunst Museum solely due to his religious beliefs.
After working faithfully for the museum for more than 20 years and after receiving a series of promotions, the man was summarily fired for no other reason than he is a Scientologist. Persecution against those suspected of being members or associated with a particular religion is just plain wrong. One only need to look at the horrific persecution of members of the Jewish faith in Germany before and during World War II to see the dangers of religious hate.
“No religious community should have to endure hate and persecution in Germany today,” said Edward Parkin, International Director of STAND.
He added that Scientologists will not stand for blatant discrimination against members of any religion. “It is time to shine the light of truth on such intolerance, and end it once and for all.”
Below is the statement of the Church of Scientology International, which declares that “The time has come to end this toxic tide of religious discrimination.”
BAVARIA MUST CEASE AND DESIST FROM ENGAGING IN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN VIOLATION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
The Church of Scientology International objects in the strongest possible terms to the Bavarian government’s never ending campaign to egregiously and illegally violate the human rights of any individuals who are, or are perceived to be, associated with the Church of Scientology.
The recent incident at the Haus der Kunst Museum is but the latest evidence of this campaign by the Bavarian government to treat Scientologists as second class citizens by depriving them of their rights to religious freedom, freedom of association, freedom of expression and, yes, even the right to work.
The Church has documented numerous cases of discrimination against its parishioners in Germany over the last 25 years. This information has been compelling enough to convince the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe, many U.S. Congressmen, the Human Rights Centre of Essex University, England, an ad hoc Committee of British Lords and scholars, and many NGOs and independent academic experts that a serious problem of minority religious intolerance exists in Germany.
This systematic discrimination against anyone believed to be associated with the Church of Scientology is in direct opposition to numerous German legal decisions recognizing that the Church of Scientology and its members are entitled to the protections of freedom of religion and belief protected by Article 4 of the German Constitution and in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Historically, the language of religious prejudice and bigotry uses pejorative terms to incite public bias and hatred. This language of prejudice and bigotry reveals itself in the use of such ugly terms as “infiltration” to describe the employment of a real or imagined member of a targeted faith in a business, a museum, a library or a government office. If Catholics or Lutherans work or are independent contractors in the public or private sector they are called “employees” but if they happen to be members of religious groups under attack, they are transformed into something sinister for the public to hate and fear by branding them as “infiltrators.” This is the classic language of hate speech.
The government desperately attempts to justify its campaign of discrimination in violation of human rights by relying on the ongoing investigation of the Church of Scientology and Scientologists in Germany by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (OPC).
Yet, despite over 20 years of intrusive investigation and harassment of Scientologists, the OPC has completely failed to uncover any credible evidence whatsoever that the Church or its parishioners have ever violated the law in Germany. No evidence has ever been found because none exists. As Green Party Member of Federal Parliament Renate Kuenast stated to Sueddeutsche Zeitung on April 26, 2000: "The Office observes Scientology, but in the meantime everyone knows that Scientology is not a danger for the Federal Republic of Germany”.
The reality is that the 20 year OPC “investigation” is politically motivated to attempt to justify the systematic discrimination and human rights abuses directed against Scientologists in Germany that has been ongoing for well over two decades.
Throughout the course of history, discrimination against minorities has been a scourge at the heart of repression shattering the very fabric of democracy. Yet, the undisputed facts show that the German government continues to initiate, guide and sustain discriminatory policies designed to strip Scientologists’ religious, social and economic rights simply due to their sincerely held religious beliefs.
The time has come to end this toxic tide of religious discrimination. The Church of Scientology and Scientologists throughout the world stand together with all who support international religious freedom and equality by raising their voices and taking action to safeguard the human rights of members of all faiths. Working together, we can affirm the religious freedom of all. Justice will prevail.