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Monday, October 27, 1997 Published at 13:19 GMT

World: Europe

German Scientologists Rally

About two-thousand members of the Scientology movement have protested in the German capital, Berlin, against what they described as discrimination against religious minorities in Germany.

Correspondents say the protest drew far fewer people than had been expected.

The German authorities say scientology is not a religion but a dangerous profit-making extremist group.

Its members are barred from political office in some parts of Germany and have been under surveillance by the German intelligence services.

The group, which is recognised as a church in the United States, has suggested that Chancellor Kohl's treatment of the Scientologists movement is akin to the persecution of Jews in the 1930s.

A court ruling is expected next year on whether Scientology in Germany is unconstitutional.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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