France arms itself with legal weapon to fight sects - 2001-06-01

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F345.png France arms itself with legal weapon to fight sects June 1, 2001, Jon Henley, The Guardian

France has become the first country in the world to introduce specific legislation aimed at controlling the activities of cults. The objective is to combat the 175-odd movements of a quasi-religious nature considered a danger to society.

The Scientology movement and the Unification Church of the Rev Sun Myung Moon immediately denounced the bill - endorsed almost unanimously on Wednesday by national assembly deputies - as anti-democratic and in breach of human rights laws. Roman Catholic and Protestant leaders have expressed disquiet.

But the justice minister, Marylise Lebranchu, described it as "an important, even a vital law to protect human liberties".


{{cite news | first = Jon | last = Henley | title = France arms itself with legal weapon to fight sects | url = https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/jun/01/jonhenley | work = The Guardian | date = June 1, 2001 | accessdate = March 3, 2017 }}