Lord McNair asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether their policy towards new religious movements remains unchanged from that stated by the Minister at the Conference of the Information Network Focus on Religious Movements in March 1993, and, if it has changed, what is the new policy, when was it decided upon and who authorised it; andThe Minister of State, Home Office (Earl Ferrers): Our policy towards new religious movements remains unchanged. Such groups must be allowed to practise freely as long as their actions remain lawful. This freedom carries with it the responsibility to act in an open and honest manner.
Pursuant to the speech by Earl Ferrers on 16th June 1994 (col. 1908), which sects and cults they regard as extreme, and in what sense or senses they regard each of the organisations listed (or, failing that, the six such organisations which give them most cause for concern); and
Pursuant to the speech by Earl Ferrers on 16th June 1994 (col. 1908) , what kind of attacks they consider are justified against which organisations, and what specific criminal acts or antisocial beliefs they attribute to which organisations (or, failing that, the six such organisations which give them most cause for concern).
The Government do not make judgments about the quality of individual organisations or maintain any kind of list or register of them. They think that members of the public are able to decide for themselves about the merits of any particular group, on the basis of the evidence which is available. If members of the public felt that sufficient cause for concern existed, then they might' well be justified in exercising their own freedom to criticise such groups, provided, again, that this criticism remains within the confines of the law.
Last updated 15 May 1997
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