German spy agency: Don't ban Scientology

Dec. 11, 2007 at 11:57 AM

BERLIN, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A German intelligence agency has spoken out against outlawing the Church of Scientology in Germany.

The German Office for the Protection of the Constitution, a domestic intelligence and security agency, said a ban at the moment "is not realistic," German news magazine Der Spiegel reported in its latest issue.

Berlin's Interior Minister Erhart Koerting had said earlier this month Germany's interior ministers unanimously agreed that the beliefs behind the religion, established in 1952 by L. Ron Hubbard, were not compatible with the German Constitution, therefore calling for a ban of Scientology.

Observers and virtually all political parties in Germany see Scientology as a cult; the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is also monitoring the church in Germany, where it has an estimated 6,000 followers.

In January, Scientology opened its new six-story, 43,000-square-feet headquarters in the upscale Berlin district of Charlottenburg, home to lavish shopping boutiques and designer hotels.

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