|Source: Expatica (Belgium) http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=48&story_id=11964&name=US+criticises+religious+freedom+in+Belgium|
17 September 2004
BRUSSELS ? A major new report by the US State Department says certain religious groups still face discrimination in Belgium.
The State Department's International Religious Freedom report is published once a year and the 2004 edition had some critical words when it came to Belgium.
Although the report conceded that the Belgian constitution provides for religious freedom and that, "the government generally respects this," it nevertheless highlighted areas where some religious groups felt they were being unfairly treated.
The report was particularly critical of the fact that Belgium defines the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormons), the Young Women's Christian Association and the Church of Scientology as, "harmful sectarian organisations."
While this definition has no legal weight it has caused problems for some of the groups concerned, the report argues.
It points to the a case where a Belgian prosecutor froze EUR 326, 000 in a bank account belonging to the Church of Scientology as evidence of such discrimination.
The prosecutor froze the funds while investigating suspicions of money laundering.
They were later unfrozen.
Mormon groups meanwhile have complained that their members have often found it difficult to obtain visas to come and preach in Belgium.
The report also says some Jehovah's Witnesses have complained about child custody rulings by certain Flemish courts.
The judgements in question said visiting rights would only be granted to Jehovah's Witness parents if they pledged not to expose their children to their religion.
Elsewhere the report expressed concern at the recent rise of anti-Semitic attacks in Belgium.
But the study was quick to stress that the Belgian authorities were equally concerned about the issue and had pledged to tackle the problem.
Belgian Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinkx, who is in charge of religious tolerance questions in Belgium, to La Libre Belgique newspaper that she had taken note of the reports content's but that she did not necessarily agree with all of its conclusions.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Does Belgium Have it Right About JWs?
JWs are not a harmful organization? Hmmm, anyone care to comment?
Child custody problems? What do you expect when you shelter child abusers? www.silentlambs.org
I believe everyone should have the right to belief whatever they want, as long as they don't force/deceive others to believe the same.
JWs need to be recognized for what they are. Pull back the American flag both they hide under and despise.
The problem is, in this country you have "freedom of religion". This is taken to the extremes here, whereas in some other countries, they are able to research these radical religions (cults), and make a better judgement on which ones are destructive cults, and which ones are not.
Does the U.S. have a government backed board that reviews new and existing religions to make sure they are or are not destructive? Let me know if you know of one, so I can write too them about the Watchtower.
Thanks for the article. I personally hope that this is a trend that continues. Those religions are what they are and until they are exposed to the masses as such, they will find no need to tame down their harmful practices.
Read my post: "My ex-wife/ex-mother-in-law hired a thug to "hurt" me." This ex-mother-in-law JW also hurt my daughter in the genital area and then told her to tell the doctor that I assaulted her, it seems because I have convinced the courts to prevent her from trying to raise my kids as JW's. This religion needs to be exposed and when they complain about the exposure, it will give the TRUE victims the opportunity to expose them even more.
Way to go, Belgium....... (never said that before..... lol)
The real sad thing is that the WTS will put a positive spin on it. "They're persecuting us! Just like Jesus said they would." It's sick and sad that they just don't get it.
I don't think any government should instruct people what to believe in as far as religion is concerned . Freedom of religion is one of the most fundamental rights in the constitution of the US . Making parents stop discussing the bible with their children is wrong especially if you are restricting the right to visitation based on that alone . I think belgium has it all wrong .
I think you will find that there are many parents on this board that will disagree with you (Hi Corvin!). The problem is that JWs don't just "teach" the Bible to their kids.
Answer this: What freedom of religion do JW youth have? Be consistant Heathen.
The evil is that they encourage their babies to get baptized, I've heard as young as 8 years old (!) more commonly at 13-14 years. Once the children are baptized (the kid thinks he/she has made a choice to serve Jehovah) they are trapped because their entire support system is JWs. The only way out is DFing or Disassociation.
Now if JWs let their kids
- get to an adult age
- allow them to be exposed to other viewpoints
- and don't shun them if they choose not to join
then I would have no issue.
80-90% of US growth is coming from JW kids getting baptized! It's their last resource - the little ones.
Yet another example of the United States getting they're noses into yet another country's business. It's not they're country. Stop it!!!!!!
No. Nor do they have it right about the Mormons, Scientologists, Khukla, Fran, or Ollie. The first thing you do to admit that you're weaker than something is try to ban it. Why don't we ban that crazy old lady with her cats in Times Square? Because she isn't a threat.
shamus - you are 100% correct. The USA should keep it's nose out of other people's domestic issues. But then, go tell a duck to get the f*ck out of the water.
I believe that all countries should adopt the US constitution as the foundation of law , it is a fine document that grants people civil rights and a free conscience in religious beliefs . True the Jehovah witnesses are a cult but so are all religious sects . I think the moslems are far more dangerous than the WTBTS could ever hope to be but still believe they have the right to believe what ever the hell they want to . If the US can still have the KKK or neo nazi idiots as legal entities then why not support the belief that people are entitled to the right of peaceful assembly? or the right to raise their kids the way they see fit ?