Germany Drops Pursuit of Scientology

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2008 6:32 PM CST
Joerg Schoenbohm, Brandeburg state Interior Minister and current chairman of the German Interior Ministers Conference, center, opens a meeting in Potsdam, Germany, on Friday, Nov. 21, 2008.   (Bernd Settnik)
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(Newser) – Germany is dropping its pursuit of a ban on Scientology after finding insufficient evidence of illegal activity, security officials said today. But domestic intelligence services plan to continue monitoring the group. The German branch of the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology has been under observation by domestic intelligence services for more than a decade, the AP reports.

Top security officials asked state governments in December to begin gathering information on whether they had sufficient grounds to seek a ban. The Church of Scientology welcomed the ministers' decision to stop seeking a ban as the "only one possible." Germany has said it considers Scientology to be in conflict with the nation's constitution, calling it less a church than a business that coerces vulnerable people.