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Sweden to restrict funding for the Watchtower

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

Four Controversial Rules in Jehovah's Witnesses

PUBLISHED TODAY 05:30 ASSIGNMENT REVIEW

The strict rules of Jehovah's Witnesses run counter to the fundamental values ​​of society - this has been the attitude of the government for many years. Nevertheless, it was finally decided to give millions in grants to the faith community. Now the government wants to change the law. The government has for several years denied Jehovah's witnesses state subsidies, referring to the fact that the religious community's rules violate the democracy clause that must be complied with according to Swedish law. But in 2019, the government turned on the issue. In 2021, Jehovah's Witnesses received, as the first payment, just over two million kronor - plus damages of 8.5 million due to the lengthy process. See the report: The scars from Jehovah's - SVT Play The government did not show up Several times during the process, the community has appealed the government's decision. The Supreme Administrative Court has three times rejected the government's refusal. According to the Supreme Administrative Court, the reasons put forward by the government have not been sufficient to be able to deny the community a grant. In the first rejection decision, no reasons were stated at all, according to Justice Margit Knutsson. - The second time they raised this with political activity, but on the other hand nothing about the blood issue, so then we sent it back as well. Now, for the third time, they only brought this up with the blood, and that was not enough, but we cannot conclude that we have said that Jehovah's Witnesses are entitled to support.

At a court hearing, members of Jehovah's Witnesses participated - but no government officials showed up. "Legislation obviously did not work" According to Margit Knutsson, the government could have refused again, instead they chose to grant the million support. This is despite the fact that both the government and the Religious Aid Authority maintain that Jehovah's Witnesses do not qualify for government grants. "What Jehovah's Witnesses are doing is urging their members not to be part of society," said Isak Reichel, head of government at SST. Nina Andersson (S), State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, says that she understands that the government's swing in the issue may appear strange. Now the government wants to change the law instead, by tightening the requirements and clarifying the democracy clause.



"The legislation obviously did not work " According to Margit Knutsson, the government could have refused again, instead they chose to grant the million support. This is despite the fact that both the government and the Religious Aid Authority maintain that Jehovah's Witnesses do not qualify for government grants. "What Jehovah's Witnesses are doing is urging their members not to be part of society," said Isak Reichel, head of government at SST. Nina Andersson (S), State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, says that she understands that the government's swing in the issue may appear strange. Now the government wants to change the law instead, by tightening the requirements and clarifying the democracy clause. - What you have to remember when it comes to paying tax money is that it must hold and be equal based on the existing legislation. The legislation here has obviously not worked and therefore we will also go to the Riksdag with new legislation in this area to correct it. Jehovah's Witnesses write to the Mission Review that they believe they contribute to upholding and strengthening the fundamental values ​​on which society rests.

I would add that neither the cases in Norway or Sweden relates to charity status. JW is a religion that in the past has been given funding from the state. Any religion or philosophical organization (eg humanists) can receive such funding given that they fulfill certain criteria. Recently the law concerning receiving such funding was made stricter in Norway, and JW failed the criteria (e.g shunning policies does not secure full freedom to resign from the religion). In Sweden it seems like JWs were denied funding for years for not "supporting the democratic values of Swedish society", but then they for some unknown reason got grated funding in 2019, which now again has luckily been revoked.

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