What time period/event are you referring to in Germany?
On 20 April 1993, the Land (state) Berlin rejected the JW community's application for receiving public corporation status.In the Land adinistration's view, the beliefs of the Witnesses were at odds with the Constitution, and they did not adhere to the principles of tolerance and had a structurally negative understanding of the State.
The Federal Administrative Court of Germany on June 22, 1997, agreed with Land Berlin that the Witnesses were not entitled to public corporation status. The only reason was "the prohibition to participate in elections and the corresponding conduct of its [JW community's] members". This judgment was reversed by the German Federal Constitutional Court only 3 and 1/2 years later.
See the FCC judgment (esp. par. 25-33), and this article (esp. p. 13-17 [684-688]).
The document at https://www.jwfacts.com/images/bulgaria-echr-app-28626-95.pdf specifically mentions medical care and military service when coming to an agreement for registration in Bulgaria. https://www.jwfacts.com/images/bulgaria-press-application-28626-95.pdf discusses the blood issue.
This document mentions. What about other ones? Get the chronology (see the EComHR's decision and report):
1. In its decision of 28 June 1994 (published on 9 September 1994) the Bulgarian Government refused authorisation for the re-registration for 24 religious associations including the JW association. "The decision stated that it was based on Section 133a and the transitional provision of the Persons and Family Act; no further reasoning was provided".
2. On 15 September 1994 the JW association appealed to the Supreme Court against this decision. The trial lasted for 6 months. In its written submissions to the Supreme Court the Government provided, among others, the following reasons (some of which are bullshit and some have sense):
- it had unlimited discretion in this matter;
- the statute of the applicant association did not correspond to the essence of Jehovah's Witnesses' religion and to their practices;
- JW's doctrine "denies almost all basic Christian concepts";
- JWs had "a doctrine requiring the replacement of the civil society by a theocratic society, which [was] contrary to the Constitution of Bulgaria";
- it was forbidden for Jehovah's Witnesses to take oath before the national flag or to honour other State symbols, as well as to serve in the army;
- Jehovah's Witnesses' rejection of blood transfusions was contrary to the law and deprived the members of the religious group of their constitutional right of choice in respect of their health and life.
As you see, there were many issues raised by the Government, and military service and blood transfusion were not only ones.
3. On 13 March 1995 the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal; the only Government's argument it upheld was the first of the above-mentioned: the Government had unlimited discretion in this matter.
The question whether the aims declared in the [applicant association's] draft statute of association are in compliance with the exhaustive list of limitations contained in the above provisions, is within the competence of the highest organ of the executive power, who decides on the basis of its free assessment. The judicial control of lawfulness in such a case is limited to an examination whether the impugned act is within the administrative organ's competence and whether it complies with the procedural and substantial legal requirements as regards its adoption.
In the present case the Council of Ministers, when adopting the impugned refusal, acted within its competence under the law (Section 133a of the Persons and Family Act). The competence requirements and the procedure for the examination of the petition were respected. The act has a reasoning, as the legal ground for its adoption was indicated.
The issue whether the draft statute of the [applicant association] is in conformity with the limitations provided for by law is within the competence of the Council of Ministers and cannot be the subject to the present judicial control.
4. The JW association filed its application to EComHR on 6 September 1995. On 21 January 1996 the Commission decided to communicate the application to the respondent Government. The Government's written observations were submitted on 3 May 1996 and 2 April 1997 and the hearing took place on 3 July 1997. In its observations the Government raised, among others, the foolowing issues (again, some arguments are bullshit and some have sense):
- the association's statute did not require a minimum age for membership and that children;
- there have been occasions where teachers adhering to the association have abused their position to preach in school among minors;
- the distribution to children of forms for the refusal of blood transfusion and of other religious materials without the consent of the parents is an unlawful;
- Jehovah's Witnesses preach disrespect for the democratic institutions and the national symbols and require their adepts to disobey the law when it is contrary to the "divine law";
- Witnesses refuse to bear arms and to work in the public service;
- they are seeking the establishment of a theocratic society;
- Jehovah's Witnesses are intolerant and may become violent in respect of other religions;
- they seek social marginalisation and avoid integration in the society;
- their doctrine does not have respect for the value of human life as it requires to refuse blood transfusions even when this would bring death.
Again, there were many issues raised by the Government, and military service and blood transfusion were not only ones.
5. By its decision of 3 July 1997 the European Commission of Human Rights declared the JW association's application admissible since it was not manifestly ill-founded. Following this decision, "the Commission placed itself at the disposal of the parties with a view to securing a friendly settlement... and invited the parties to submit any proposals they wished to make... By letters of 8 and 12 September 1997 the parties indicated their willingness to reach a friendly settlement. The parties exchanged correspondence and proposals for a friendly settlement and held meetings in Sofia on 20 and 21 November 1997. On 17 January 1998, upon the parties' request, the Commission made proposals to the parties with a view to resolving some remaining differences in their positions. The parties again met in Sofia on 10 February 1998...By letters of 10 and 11 February 1998 the parties informed the Commission of the final text of the friendly settlement".
As you see, negotiations between JWs and the Bulgarian State took place before July 1997 and February 1998. That's when the main issues for the Government became clear.
But the change on alternative service was presented in Watchtower 1996 May 1; it's possible to conclude the decision was made by GB in the winter of 1995/96 or even in the autumn of 1995.
What do you think about it?