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Thursday, November 6, 1997 Published at 17:44 GMT



World: Europe

Germany can't decide if Scientology is a religion

A federal court in Germany has failed to reach a verdict on whether or not Scientology can be considered a religion.

The verdict was sought after a regional court in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg ruled in July that the status of Scientology had to be to be legally determined before the organisation could be deprived of the tax and other priviliges that go with religious status.

But the federal administrative court in Berlin has now referred the case back to the regional court. The German authorities have taken measures to combat the influence of Scientolgy.

They argue that it is a business operation with dangerous anti-democratic tendencies.

But the Scientologists say they are a religious organisation which is being discriminated against. The issue has strained Germany's relations with the United States, where Scientology has strong support.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service








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