Sect Not Allowed to Build Cult Hall, Paris Mayor

Xinhua/March 16, 2001

Paris Mayor Jean Tiberi on Friday decided not to give the Universal Church of God's Kingdom (EURD in French), classified as "sect" in a parliamentary report, the permission to build a hall for cult ceremonies.

"Since the Police of Paris Prefecture has given an unfavorable opinion (on EURD's application), Paris City Hall announces its final decision to reject EURD's project," said the Mayor in a statement.

The decision of the Police is based on security consideration, said the statement. The Brazil-originated sect has applied three times for Paris City Hall's permission to transform a cinema that it had purchased in the 10th district of Paris into a hall for cult ceremonies.

EURD, one of the 170-plus sects in France, claims that it has three millions of followers. While not banning sect activities, the French Ministry of Justice has urged all governmental institutions to be vigilant against possible abuses that sects could commit.

The ministry has also presented an anti-sect law to the parliament, which is still under debate.

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