PORTUGAL: Filed a petition to the parliament to erase the legal entity of the Jehovah's Witness
Based on legal arguments that revolve around violations of several articles of the Portuguese Constitution, and of the Law Of Religious Freedom, a petition to the Portuguese parliament has been set in motion to extinguish the legal entity that represents the Jehovah's Witness in Portugal and remove this community from the national register of recognized religions protected by law. The petition does NOT seek to ban the Jehovah's Witness as a whole in the country. The petition denounces the institutional policy of shunning former members as a violation of basic human rights and psychological torture, and asks the Portuguese legislators and judicial authorities to take action to stop this abuse, and suspend legal recognition to the branch office entity until the policies of shunning are changed.
The petition is now gathering votes. 1000 votes ensure that the author(s) of the petition will be given an audience on the parliament to present their case; 4000 votes ensure that the parliament will debate the petition during its session.
You can view the petition here: http://peticaopublica.com/pview.aspx?pi=ExtRegistoATJ
It'll be interesting to see how this ends. My hopes aren't very high but you never know.
IMPORTANT: Here's how you can help.
IF YOU LIVE IN THE E.U. (European Community) YOU CAN VOTE. (because of the right of reciprocity between EU countries).
Even if you don't understand Portuguese, you can use Google Translator to translate the petition and get the gist of it. On the top right of the page there's a green button "Assinar Petição" (SIGN PETITION). Then you will be asked to fill two mandatory fields: Complete Name and Email address. A third, optional field, will allow you to leave a comment. Eventually you will receive an email asking you to confirm your vote. Your email is kept confidential even from me.
YOUR VOTE HELPS because the more votes this petition gets, it will ensure we will be given an audience in the parliament to present our case.
It's starting to look like the tide is going out on the lam WTBTS.
Why the legal existence of this one organization is being attacked? Is there any background story? What is the legal base for singling out this one organization? Without any background it sounds like a vindictive witch hunt.
And it begins
Justice will roll like a mighty stream
That's a good question.
To what extent is the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses violating the law, and what rules of the Portuguese legal system are being violated?
Put simply, the practice of ostracizing ex-members (in English known as "shunning"), as applied by Jehovah's Witnesses, is the focal point of most offenses against the law.
However, the treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses to those who are excluded or who exclude themselves from the church deserves the greatest censure and we think it deserves strong action on the part of the legislator, because it is a criminal practice, devastating and an attack on the dignity of the human being.
WHY DOES THE STATE NEED TO INTERVENE
To what extent is this culture promoted by the Association of Jehovah's Witnesses a violation of the law, and why should lawmakers in that country give attention to this?
Law 16/2001 begins by stating in its Article 1:
" Freedom of conscience, religion and worship is inviolable and guaranteed to all accordance with the Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international law and this law. "
to identify with the central principles of the community. But this does not happen among Jehovah's Witnesses. The believer is not permitted to question or contest or discuss, whether in public or in private,
It is an abominable hypocrisy for the Association of Jehovah's Witnesses to be recognized under a law that protects religious freedom.......
..................By denying their members the right to express themselves freely without thereby suffering reprisals, Jehovah's Witnesses are violating the constitutional limits of religious freedom.
Our Constitution, as well as Law 16/2001 itself, adopts the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It states unequivocally:
"Article 18 - Every human being has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change religion or belief and freedom to manifest that religion or belief through teaching, practice, worship in public or in private. "
" Article 19 - Every human being has the right to freedom of opinion and expression ; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas by any means and regardless of frontiers. "
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives each individual the freedom to change their beliefs or exercise their freedom of thought and opinion without implying coercion to change their religion But Jehovah's Witnesses harass and persecute and disfellowship members for disagreeing even with a single doctrinal article and refusing to silence their criticism and portray themselves.
Tarticle 37 of the Portuguese Constitution, and of article 1 of Law 16/2001 , which refers to both.
The Constitution states in its Article 46:
"3 - No one may be compelled to be part of an association nor coerced by any means to remain in it."
Article 2 of Law 16/2001 says:
"1 No one can be harmed, persecuted, deprived of any right ... because of their convictions or religious practice."
Karma is comin for em!!!
19 votes so far. If you are a citizen of a E.U. country, you can help by signing the petition.