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Germany: Scientology a security threat?

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HAMBURG, Germany, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The interior minister of Hamburg, Germany, sees Scientology as a threat to his state's security.

Scientology is not a religious community but an "extremist grouping" that needs to be banned, said Udo Nagel, the interior minister of the northern German state of Hamburg. According to Nagel, Germany’s Interior Ministry in Berlin is currently probing whether a ban of Scientology would hold up in court.

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

Scientology has dominated German headlines in the past weeks: Last month two children of a high-ranking Scientology member fled their home in Berlin for Hamburg, where they are currently supported on their way out of the church.

Nagel said it was the state’s duty to protect citizens and especially children from “extremist organizations” like Scientology.

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