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bullet  "France … shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law … It shall respect all beliefs." Article 2, Constitution of France.
bullet "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 sects.

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This series of essays deals with two major violations of personal freedom in France:

bullet 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.
bullet 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.

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet Attacks on new religious movements
bullet Attacks on personal religious freedom

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  1. Anonymous article, "Religious Groups Face French 'Blacklist'", Action Magazine, The Rutherford Institute, Charlottesville VA, Vol. 2, No. 5, 1997-MAY
  2. 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 Office, 1998-JUN-30.
  3. Mark Kellner, "Then They Came for Me," Column in The Washington Times; exact date unknown
  4. Associated Press, "Jehovah’s Witnesses would be the object of a tax assessment," 1988-JUN-29
  5. "Jehovah's witnesses pay a price for lack of cult status," The Independent (London UK), 1998-JUL-9. News section, Page 13.
  6. News Release, "France: New Dramatic Developments in the Sect Issue," Human Rights Without Frontiers, Brussels, Belgium, 1998-JUL-7
  7. Free Minds, "France Moves to Tax Religion!" advertisement in the New York Times, 1998-JUL-5. See:
  8. "Establishing an Inter-ministerial Mission to Fight Against Sects," (English translation) at:
  9. Quoted in Martin Weightman, "Religious Hysteria in France," European Human Rights Office, Church of Scientology, 1998-NOV-17.
  10. "Religious Intolerance and Discrimination," speech delivered by Human Rights Without Frontiers to the OSCE Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, 1998-OCT-28. See:
  11. "Report of the Inquiry Commission into New Religious Groups," 1995-DEC-22 at: This is the original document; in French. An English translation is available at:
  12. "1997 Annual Report of the Inter-ministery Observatory on Cults" is at: (original document; in French)
  13. "France: New discriminatory law proposal," Foundation for Religious Freedom news release, 1999-DEC-17. 
  14. ReligionToday news summary for 2000-JUN-15
  15. "Rights groups fear French cult bill would curb religious liberty," Newsroom, 2000-JUL-5. Online at: 
  16. "French 'Cults law' draws fire from religious groups,", 2000-JUL-14, at: 
  17. "French Baptists concerned about religious freedom," Evangelical Press News Service. Online at: 
  18. Paul Holmes, "Congressman assails French law on sects," Reuters, 2001-JUL-9.
  19. "Jean-Louis Langlais is the new President of the French Mission," Center for Studies of New Religions (CESNUR) at:
  20. "French Muslim group courts showdown over headscarf law," The Peninsula, Qatar, 2004-JUL-27, at:
  21. "School expels girls for refusing to remove Muslim headscarves," Toronto Star, 2004-OCT-20, Page A12.
  22. Elain Ganley, "Muslim girls barred for wearing bandannas, group says," Associated Press. Published in the Toronto Star, 2004-OCT-22, Page A15.

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Site navigation: Home > Religious hatred, conflict...  > Intolerance > here

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Copyright © 1996 to 2004 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Essay created: 1996-SEP-27
Latest update: 2004-OCT-24
Author: B.A. Robinson

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