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Saturday, 31 January, 1998, 22:08 GMT
Kinkel rejects U.S. criticism over scientology

The German foreign minister, Klaus Kinkel, has rejected the latest criticism from the United States of Germany's treatment of the Scientology organisation.

The American State Department's annual report on human rights, published on Friday, said Scientology suffered discrimination in Germany, where it is denied religious status.

Mr Kinkel described the accusation as completely unfounded, adding that it didn't become truer by repetition.

The row over the status of Scientology in Germany culminated last year with the publication of a newspaper article in which Scientology compared the treatment of its members in Germany with the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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