U.S. CRITICIZES GERMANY ON SCIENTOLOGY - 1997-01-27
The State Department's annual survey of human rights conditions around the world will contain expanded, toughened language criticizing Germany for restrictions on the Church of Scientology and its members, administration officials said.
The report, to be issued Wednesday, will chastise Germany for what a senior administration official called "a campaign of harassment and intimidation" against the controversial church. He said the United States, seeking to protect religious freedom, has urged Germany through diplomatic channels "not to prosecute people for wrong thinking" but has been rebuffed.
The German response is, "We won't change our policy, no matter what you say," a German diplomat here said. "You are a big country. You can afford to have militias and cults. We can't." He said Germany, with 80 million people in a Montana-size country and a unique sensitivity to the dangers of "extremism" because of its Nazi past, is obliged to limit activities of groups perceived as threats to national well-being.