CESNUR - center for studies on new religions

"France joins list of religious-liberty violators" Aid to the Church in Need issues a 2001 Report

(Zenit, July 3, 2001)

Violations of religious liberty are increasing, particularly in China, Indonesia, Sudan, Nigeria and Turkmenistan, says a new report from Aid to the Church in Need.
But the biggest surprise of the "2001 Report on Religious Liberty in the World" is the inclusion of France among the countries with discriminatory laws. On May 30, France introduced a law against the generic crime of "mental manipulation."
Andrea Morigi, one of the report's authors, explained that the French measure runs the risk of censuring traditional Christian religious practices, such as fasting, or the disrupted patterns of sleep in some monasteries.
The Catholic Church and Protestant communities have opposed this law, which has been approved by parties of the right and left.
The religious-liberty report, however, notes progress made in Switzerland. The Swiss recently abolished an 1874 law that called for government approval for the establishment of new Catholic dioceses.
The report analyzes 189 countries and divides the world into areas. They include:
--The Muslim area, where there is continued discrimination based on the Shariah, or Islamic law, and where, in general, non-Muslims are prohibited from evangelizing or proclaiming their faith.
--The Social-Communist area, particularly China, where there is a repressive policy vis-à-vis religious groups.
--The Hindu-Buddhist area: where there is social discrimination against those belonging to other religions.
--The Conflict Areas: where there are massacres among various groups, including for religious reasons.
--Areas where legislation is harmful to religious liberty.
--Areas where no discrimination is evidenced.
The report's authors explain that Aid to the Church in Need defends the liberty of all religions, not just Christianity.

Anti-Cult Law in France - Index Page
Full text of the law in French

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