"France … shall ensure the equality of all citizens
before the law … It shall respect all beliefs." Article 2,
Constitution of France.
"This is sowing the seeds for profound religious intolerance in
France. If and when it is exported, it will spread an anti-religious
contagion...When I read the plain body of the language, you can take
virtually any denomination and in a variety of situations you can
dissolve it. You name it, the Catholic Church, you can dissolve it."
Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) commenting on the 2001-MAY law on
This series of essays deals with two major violations of personal freedom
Over a period of centuries, the country of France has transitioned
from having a state church, to being neutral on religion and cherishing
religious freedom, to being staunchly secular and opposed to religious
expression. Recent restrictions on religious expression appear to be a
violation of the country's constitution.
The Anti-Cult movement (ACM) teaches that many
new religious movements are profoundly evil and dangerous. They convert
their members into a near-zombie state, and heavily exploit them.
Although has been largely discredited in the United States due to
lack of evidence that these evils exist, it seems to have achieved a
strong foothold in some European countries and in China.
Anonymous article, "Religious Groups Face French 'Blacklist'", Action
Magazine, The Rutherford Institute, Charlottesville VA, Vol. 2, No. 5, 1997-MAY
Judah B. Schroeder, "Representatives from 15 European Union countries decry
discrimination against Jehovah's Witnesses in France: Canada, Japan, Switzerland, and the
United States join efforts to visit embassies," Watch Tower Public Affairs
Mark Kellner, "Then They Came for Me," Column in The Washington
Times; exact date unknown
Associated Press, "Jehovah’s Witnesses would be the object of a tax
"Jehovah's witnesses pay a price for lack of cult status," The
Independent (London UK), 1998-JUL-9. News section, Page 13.
News Release, "France: New Dramatic Developments in the Sect Issue,"
Human Rights Without Frontiers, Brussels, Belgium, 1998-JUL-7