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German Supreme Court Overturns Eleven Year Ban Against Rev & Mrs Moon, Reports FFWPU

For Immediate Release

LONDON, United Kingdom/EWORLDWIRE/Nov. 11, 2006 --- Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, Founders of the Family Federation and the Universal Peace Federation, today won a major victory in the German Supreme Court. The court overturned an eleven year long ban preventing the couple from entering Germany or any of the other 14 nations party to the Schengen Treaty which sets up a common immigration policy among them.

The case had aroused indignation around the world from international statesmen, human rights organizations and religious leaders amongst others. In 2001, then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had lodged an official protest about it with the German government, and in June this year, forty international statesmen had written an open letter to Chancellor Merkel calling for the ban to be lifted. It had also been the subject of litigation for the past eleven years.

The Supreme Court stated that it overruled the verdict by the lower court because it violated the German Constitution’s provisions on Religious Liberty and the Right of Free Religious Practice. Lower courts had not
thought that preventing Rev. and Mrs. Moon entering Germany to meet members of the religion and its supporters was a sufficient violation of religious freedom to warrant their intervention. The Supreme Court strongly disagreed. It said, "The (lower) court based its decision on evaluating genuinely religious concerns, belonging to the internal affairs of the plaintiff, which governmental institutions are not supposed to deal with. Concerning the question, what would be the significance of a personal encounter by the members of a religious community with their founder or spiritual leader, only the understanding of the community itself can be authoritative."

The government had tried to utilize the Schengen treaty, designed to protect national security, to prevent the development of the Moons' religion. Their lawyers had argued that the government’s insistence that a visit would threaten national security was spurious. Agreeing with this, the Court said, "It has to be duly considered that in accordance with the Schengen Agreement the listing implies the existence of dangers for public security and order for national security. It is not obvious that a visit by the Moon Couple would entail such dangers that would justify the continuation of the listing of the Moon Couple."

Mr. Timothy Read, National Director of the Family Federation in the U.K., said, "This German decision is just the latest sign that a radical global reappraisal of Rev and Mrs. Moon's life and work is underway. A series of highest court decisions in Europe has vindicated them of the kind of baseless allegations that used to be bandied about in the tabloids. Our charitable status was upheld here in 1988, and last year the government here lifted a similar ban to the German one after being criticized by the Immigration Appeal Tribunal."

For further information, contact Robin Marsh 44 (0) 7956210768 or visit www.ffwpu.org.uk.

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Robin Marsh
43 Lancaster Gate
London, UK W2 3NA
PHONE. 07956210768

KEYWORDS: Rev Moon, Rev Sun Myung Moon, Schengen, Moon, Unification Church

SOURCE: www.ffwpu.org.uk


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