German court shies away from Scientology ruling - 1997-11-06
BERLIN (AP) _ Germany's fight with the Church of Scientology hinges on a central question: Is the group a religion, as it claims, or a money-making business?
The question has bounced from court to court in recent months, concerning a Scientology branch in the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. On Thursday, federal judges refused to touch it, kicking the case back to the state court with a firm instruction: Religion in this case is irrelevant.
Instead, they ruled, the lower court should focus on whether the mission in Stuttgart was a business or a not-for-profit organization concerned with "spiritual advisement."