German Court Rules UC can sue government in Moon case

Press Release
by the Unification Church of Germany
Schmitten, October 30, 2000

The Unification Church in Germany considers the last verdict of the Higher Administrative Court Rhineland-Palatinate an important step towards lifting the entry ban against Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife Hak Ja Han Moon

A verdict released recently by the Higher Administrative Court Rhineland-Palatinate from September 19, 2000 reaffirms the fundamental right of the German Unification Church to be a party in the litigation against the entry ban of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife Hak Ja Han Moon. In 1995, the former Minister of Interior Manfred Kanther not only issued an order to the border patrols, prohibiting the entry of Rev. and Mrs. Moon to German territory. Mr. Kanther also had the founding couple of the Unification Church International put on the so-called Schengen listing, thus in effect barring the couple from entering all of the European member states of the Schengen treaty.

Already in 1998 the Administrative Court of Koblenz decided that the German Unification Church constitutes a genuine religious community in line with Article 4 of the German Constitution. However the court denied the right of the German Church to be the litigating party, and insisted that Rev. Moon himself is the sole party concerned. This verdict was now overruled by the Higher Administrative Court.

The verdict, comprising some 25 pages, affirms again the German Unification Church as a religious community with rights specified in the German Constitution. It maintains that "when making decisions on facilitating entry and residence to the religious head of a religious community or on refusing such, the interests of the members of a religious community living in the Federal Republic of Germany in spiritual guidance are also to be given consideration in the light of the significance of fundamental freedoms arising from Article 4 para 1 and 2 of the German Constitution".

The German Unification Church considers this verdict to be an important step towards the complete lifting of the entry ban for Rev. and Mrs. Moon and deletion of their names from the Schengen listing.

Fritz Piepenburg
Public Relations Officer
Unification Church of Germany

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