KARLSRUHE, Germany: Germany’s supreme court on Thursday ordered a lower court to re-examine an order banning the founder of the Unification Church from entering the country.
German officials denied visas to Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife when the Korean-born couple wanted to visit followers in 1995 because Berlin views his organization as a dangerous sect.
A state court upheld the ban in 2002. But the Constitutional Court, ruling Thursday in Moon’s favor, said the lower court decision violated the right to religious freedom.
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It said the state had no right to impose its values on a religious grouping. It also said the lower court failed to show that a visit would threaten public safety in Germany.
The state court must now examine the case anew.
The U.S. government has criticized German efforts to counter Moon’s organization, calling it a restriction of religious freedom.