|| "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.
Topics covered in this section:
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
Free Minds, "France Moves to Tax Religion!" advertisement in the New
York Times, 1998-JUL-5. See: http://www.freeminds.org/news/nytimes.htm
"Establishing an Inter-ministerial Mission to Fight Against Sects,"
(English translation) at: http://www.cesnur.org/decree98.htm
Quoted in Martin Weightman, "Religious Hysteria in France," European
Human Rights Office, Church of Scientology, 1998-NOV-17.
"Religious Intolerance and Discrimination," speech delivered by Human
Rights Without Frontiers to the OSCE Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, 1998-OCT-28. See: http://www.greekhelsinki.gr/english/pressrelease/hrwf28-10-98.html
"Report of the Inquiry Commission into New Religious Groups,"
1995-DEC-22 at: http://www.assemblee-nat.fr/2/cenq/rap-enq/2cca.htm
This is the original document; in French. An English translation is available at: http://cftf.com/french/Les_Sectes_en_France/cults.html
"1997 Annual Report of the Inter-ministery Observatory on Cults" is
(original document; in French)
"France: New discriminatory law proposal," Foundation
for Religious Freedom news release, 1999-DEC-17.
- ReligionToday news summary for 2000-JUN-15
"Rights groups fear French cult bill would curb religious liberty,"
Newsroom, 2000-JUL-5. Online at: http://www.cesnur.org/testi/fr2K_july1.htm
"French 'Cults law' draws fire from religious groups,"
CNSNews.com, 2000-JUL-14, at: http://www.cesnur.org/testi/fr2K_july2.htm
"French Baptists concerned about religious freedom,"
Evangelical Press News Service. Online at: http://www.mcjonline.com/news/00b/20000817e.htm
Paul Holmes, "Congressman assails French law on sects," Reuters,
"Jean-Louis Langlais is the new President of the French Mission,"
Center for Studies of New Religions (CESNUR) at:
"French Muslim group courts showdown over headscarf law," The
Peninsula, Qatar, 2004-JUL-27, at:
"School expels girls for refusing to remove Muslim headscarves,"
Toronto Star, 2004-OCT-20, Page A12.
Elain Ganley, "Muslim girls barred for wearing bandannas, group says,"
Associated Press. Published in the Toronto Star, 2004-OCT-22, Page A15.
Copyright © 1996 to 2004 by Ontario Consultants on
Essay created: 1996-SEP-27
Latest update: 2004-OCT-24
Author: B.A. Robinson