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Belarus: Religious Intolerance Criticized

Warsaw, 13 November 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A member of the U.S. delegation to an international human rights conference in Warsaw criticized several European countries today for what he said was their intolerance toward some religious groups.

David Little spoke at the conference, which is being sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Little said the United States was concerned about a newly adopted Russian law on "Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations." He said the law denies rights of property, publication and education to religious groups that have existed for less than 15 years in Russia.

But Little also criticized such Western European countries as Germany and Austria for what he called their bad treatment of followers of the Church of Scientology. Little said all OSCE members should recommit themselves to the 1989 Vienna Concluding Document on promoting religious tolerance.