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Scientology facing ban in Germany

  |   Dec. 8, 2007 at 4:00 PM
BERLIN, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The German government is preparing to ban the Church of Scientology within its borders, declaring its beliefs to be anti-constitutional.

Berlin's Interior Minister Erhart Korting said all of Germany's interior ministers agree the beliefs behind the religion, established in 1952 by L. Ron Hubbard, were not compatible with the German constitution, The Independent reported Saturday.

"All ministers present were unanimous in their view that Scientology is an organization not compatible with the constitution," Korting said.

A Scientology spokeswoman opposed the move, saying there are nearly 30,000 German residents who belong the church and the group has been recognized by the European Court of Human Rights. German officials peg membership in the country at closer to 6,000.

The newspaper said the Protestant church in Germany also has attacked the top celebrity supporter of the Scientology movement, actor Tom Cruise.

Protestant officials have said Cruise is using his popularity to promote the religious movement and have compared the "Risky Business" star to Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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