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Staggering defeat in NORWAY

Jehovah's Witnesses lost to the state. Does not receive state aid back. Jehovah's Witnesses do not get back the state subsidy. The decisions to deny the religious community support are known to be valid, and the state is acquitted in a recent judgment in the Oslo District Court. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB NTB Updated: 15 hours ago According to the judgment, the exclusion practice of Jehovah's Witnesses involves "serious violations of the rights and freedoms of others", writes Dagen on Monday afternoon. The trial went before Oslo district court in January, and now the district court has concluded that the state is acquitted. Jehovah's Witnesses are also ordered to pay court costs of just over NOK 1.1 million. Jehovah's Witnesses filed a lawsuit against the state of Norway after being deprived of the right to state subsidies and registration as a religious community, writes Vårt Land. Last year it became known that the religious community will lose both the state subsidy for 2021 and the registration as a religious community. Jehovah's Witnesses disagree with the decision and have filed a lawsuit against the state. The decision has also been upheld for the rejections of state aid in 2022 and 2023. The demand for subsequent payment of a total grant of NOK 35 million was also rejected by the court. The reason for the revocation of the state subsidy is that the Ministry of Children and Families and the State Administrator believe that the exclusion practice of Jehovah's Witnesses involves negative social control and prevents free expression from the religious community. "Through the guidelines and practice for exclusion, Jehovah's Witnesses encourage members who are ostracized or withdraw, so that with few exceptions they are exposed to social isolation from those remaining in the religious community," concludes judge Ole Kristen Øverberg. Published: Monday 4 March 2024 at 16:18 Updated: 15 hours ago

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