Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom or Belief - Side Event
CESNUR - Center for Studies on New Religions and HRWF - Human Rights Without Frontier
Presiding and introducing: Rosita ŠORYTĖ (European Federation for Freedom of Belief)
Video: “Tai Ji Men and Taiwanese Society”
World premiere of the movie “A Question of Justice: The Tai Ji Men Tax Case,” directed by Massimo Introvigne.
Panel discussion - Panelists:
Marco RESPINTI (director-in-charge, “Bitter Winter” magazine)
Kenneth JACOBSEN (Temple University, Philadelphia)
Willy FAUTRÉ (Human Rights Without Frontiers, Brussels)
Damon TSAI (Tai Ji Men, Taipei)
Alessandro AMICARELLI (President, European Federation for Freedom of Belief)
Respondent: Massimo INTROVIGNE (CESNUR)
Tax justice and religious freedom increasingly interact. The European Court of Human Rights is just one jurisdiction that ruled that the tax system cannot be used to discriminate against religious minorities. One of the longest lasting tax cases raising issues of religious liberty involved the Taiwan-based spiritual movement Tai Ji Men. After 24 years of litigations, the issue has not been fully solved to this day. Should monetary offers that devotees give to their spiritual leaders or organizations be treated as tax-exempt gifts or as taxable payments? And do the governments have the right to discriminate between the gifts given to “legitimate” spiritual movements and groups they label as “cults”? The implications go well beyond the Tai Ji Men movement and are crucial for religious freedom throughout the world.