SWEDEN: JWs Have Right to State Funding
FYI - from Sweden
First an article from the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (via Google Translate)
Jehovah's Witnesses won against the government
Monday 20 February 2017
Witnesses applied for state subsidies, but the government said no on the grounds that the community encourages its members not to accept blood transfusions to minors. Hence meet community requirements not to contribute to society's fundamental values, according to the government.
But now the Supreme Administrative Court has given Jehovah's Witnesses law and remit the matter to the government.
The Court considers that the Jehovah's Witnesses at the same time urge their members to cooperate with medical care in deciding whether a child to get a blood transfusion. Additionally pointing rights including the freedom of religion and the right of individuals.
According to the law, "a religious community is not considered to be in conflict with democratic values it urges its members to act in a manner consistent with the right to express opinions and oppose medical treatment due to them under the law."
A judge of the five dissented and wanted to give the government the right.READ ORIGINAL: https://www.svd.se/jehovas-vittnen-vann-mot-regeringen
The judgement is explained in more detail (in native English) along with links, by the the American Library of Congress Law Library
Sweden: Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Right to State Funding
(Feb. 24, 2017) On February 20, 2017, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court decided that Jehovah’s Witnesses have the right to state funding and that not providing such support would violate articles 14 and 19 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The ruling sends the application back to the government, which will have to make a new decision consistent with the verdict. If there are no reasons other than the practice of refusing children’s blood transfusions to deny the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ application for funding, the application should be granted.
Religious organizations may soon see another set of rules apply, however, as the Swedish government is researching a new law on state funding of faith-based organizations; a report is expected to be issued in March 2018. Among the reasons for the review is to evaluate whether the government should withdraw funding when it is discovered that the faith-based organization receiving the grant has developed in a non-democratic direction. Moreover, the committee reviewing the state-funding program has been asked by the Department of Culture to look at ways to make the law more religiously neutral by using language other than "ceremony and service". The committee was also directed to propose language that would permit the recovery of funds that have been used to fund non-democratic ideas.
Several Members of the Swedish Parliament, representing five out of seven political groups, have previously voiced similar concerns and objected to the funding of religious organizations that promote gender inequality and discrimination against sexual minorities.
This has been an ongoing issue which seems to have been going back-and-forth:
Yearbook 2016, pages 40 to 41
In May 2012, the government of Sweden rejected an application by Jehovah’s Witnesses to receive the economic benefits granted to other religious organizations. The Governing Body gave the approval for the decision to be appealed to the country’s Supreme Administrative Court...
The Court ruled in our favor, and the case was referred back to the government for a new decision.
haha - I posted this new topic 24 hours ago - and its now only just turned up here
Does the Swedish govt know about the requirement for all congs to ship all but a minimum funds to NY?
Does sweden fund moscs?
I don't think mosques, churches, kingdom halls, temples of any persuasion or christian science reading rooms should get state funding. That they don't have corporate income taxes is bad enough. That they often get out local shares of improvements etc is bad enough. But giving ANY religious group money for ??? boggles me. I don't like it one little bit-cause my opinion matters so much:) I think the ONLY things they should get any support for are those things directly supporting the greater community-like food banks or actual services-and then just allow them as deductions, like everyone gets when they donate to a charity.
I know I have a very US centric idea of taxes and all this, I really don't know how it works in other places. I think there is way too much money going to places that are ridiculous, and that they would give any to the WTBTS-an organization of which we all know too much-is insane.
The Swedish state pays state funding to some 40 different religious congregations, most Christian, a few are Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist. It is not for to build churches or mosques, but to the congregations activities.
According to the state regulations, the state funding is only for congregations that "helps to maintain and strengthen the fundamental values on which society rests." The question is whether this is the case for Jehovah's Witnesses? Are they a "part of the world" now?
Looking at what other congregations gets in state funding , Jehovah's Witnesses ought to get about 332 000 USD every year.
Although I'm Swedish, I think it's crazy to give state funding to religious congregations...
Your are correct, I am Swedish too....