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RESOLUTION

106TH CONGRESS

1ST SESSION

S. RES. 230

Expressing the sense of the Senate with respect to government discrimination in Germany based on religion or belief.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

NOVEMBER 9, 1999

Mr. ENZI (for himself and Ms. LANDRIEU) submitted the following resolution;
which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the Senate with respect to government discrimination in Germany based on religion or belief.

Whereas government discrimination in Germany against individuals and groups based on religion or belief violates Germany's obligations under the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Helsinki Accords, which provide that member states must ``recognize and respect the free-
dom of the individual to profess and practice alone or in community with others, religion or belief acting in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience'';

Whereas the 1993 through 1998 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Germany have disclosed acts of Federal, State, and local government
discrimination in Germany against members of minority religious groups, including Charismatic Christians, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Scientologists;

Whereas State Department Human Rights Reports on Germany have also disclosed acts of government discrimination against United States citizens because of their reli-
gious beliefs;

Whereas State Department Human Rights Reports on Germany have disclosed discrimination based on religion or belief in Germany in such forms as exclusion from government employment and political parties; the use of ``sect-filters'' (required declarations that a person or company is not affiliated with a particular religious group)
by government, businesses, sports clubs, and other organizations; government-approved boycotts and discrimination against businesses; and the prevention of artists from performing or displaying their works;

Whereas United Nations reports have disclosed discrimination based on religion or belief in Germany, and a 1997 report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Religious Intolerance concluded that the Government of Germany ``must implement a strategy to prevent intolerance in the field of religion and belief '';

Whereas the 1998 report of the State Department's Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad warned that unless the work of the German Government's Parliamentary Inquiry Commission on ``so-called sects and psycho-groups'', which investigated dozens of religious groups, including Mormons and other minority Christian groups, ``focuses [its] work on investigating illegal acts, [it] runs the risk of denying individuals the right to freedom of religion or belief '', and the Committee specifically reported that ``members of the Church of Scientology and of a Christian charismatic church have been subject to intense scrutiny by the Commission, and several members have suffered harassment, discrimination, and threats of violence''; and

Whereas in 1997, a United States immigration judge granted a German woman asylum in the United States, finding that she had a well-founded fear of persecution based on
her religious beliefs if she returned to Germany: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate

(1) urges the Government of Germany to uphold its commitments to ``take effective measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination against individuals or communities on the grounds of religion or belief '' and ``foster a climate of mutual tolerance and respect between believers of different communities'', as required by the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe's Vienna Concluding Document of 1989; 

(2) urges the Government of Germany to enter into a constructive dialogue with minority groups subject to government discrimination based on religion or belief; 

(3) continues to hold the Government of Germany responsible for protecting the right of freedom of religion or belief of United States citizens who are living, performing, doing business, or traveling in Germany; and 

(4) calls upon the President to assert the concern of the United States Government to the Government of Germany regarding government discrimination in Germany based on religion or belief.