ICS Church v. Alkharya


  • ECoJ

    The European Court of Justice has decided to accept the petition of Petitioner the ICS Church pertaining to violations of the Constitution, in reference to Section XVII. Freedom of Conscience, by the Government of Alkharya. The petitioner (henceforth Appellant) presented that the petitioner (henceforth respondent) violated the freedom of conscious of religion and freedom of religion in the Constitution of the EU and calls for a Repeal of law or modification in order to comply with freedom of religion. This court, in accordance with the Constitution of the European Union and the European Court of Justice Case Procedures Act of 2013, grants the writ of certiorari to the Appellant and hereby requests both parties to dutifully present or send representation to appear before this court.

    This case, ICS Church v. Alkharya is now OPEN. The appellant, ICS Church Organization, may deliver their opening statement first, followed by that of the respondent, an individual representing the Government of Alkharya.

    Before delivering any statement to this court, please provide your name and relation to the respective part for the record.

    A member of the ICS Church or a advocate (if present to this court at present), may begin.

    Jack McCoy
    Chief Justice of the ECOJ


  • EU

    Akel Ozbilen, lawyer for ICS:Thank you for hearing our case for the ICS church on religious discrimination. I want to start first of all saying we sympathise with Alkharya for the problems that have been caused by some missionaries including the cases where they caused death , but the response is disproportionate. I understand the need for public safety but we have been banned from having other pastors come to speak or even people from overseas from the church come to speak on social justice issues or help with projects to help Alkharyans.

    In no way do our "missionaries" present a threat to Alkharya ,they do not spread hate speech, they do not engage in misoyny , they don't engage in homophobia quite the contrary we actually as a church embrace LGBT people including marrying them and blessing their adoptions of children. Yet we are being punished with the same rules as if we were. The law does not protect Alkharyans it in fact could harm Alkharyans interests and is by making it harder to get people to come to volunteer to help in anti-poverty programmes and in our charity work for Salvation aid. The constitution garuntees freedom of conscience and religion , having missionaries able to come a speak is a fundamental part of that right as is sending missionaries overseas to other countries. The state is fundamentally stepping from supporting secularism to actively being hostile to the practise of religion within Alkharya. This is a clear breach as stated in the case of the Section XVII. Freedom of Conscience which states and I quote ". Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

    II. This right includes freedom to change their religion or belief; and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance provided they do not violate the rights of others as mandated by this Declaration."

    This is specifically stopping people the church as a community from engaging with its international members , breaking the right t manifest religion in community with others. We believe the state has overstepped in the implementation of this law essentially restricting religious rights garunteed by the EU constitution. If they want to ban hate preachers or preachers promoting violence or dangerous ideas from spreading hate that is a possible exception but that is not what's happening here.This is quite clearly a ban on preaching for a great many of innocent people.


  • ECoJ

    Thank you Mr. ObzBilen. The petitioned, the Government of Alkharya, will now proceed now do as the petitionee has by providing their name and relation to the respective party for the record. Then they may then give their statement to the case for this court.

    Jack McCoy
    Chief Justice of the ECOJ


  • Commission

    Laçin Kayıhan is the lawyer representing Alkharya.

    I would like to mention that missionary activities are defined by the Alkharyan law as:

    "Teaching of religion or any similar sort of beliefs as a representative of a religious organization, be it a church, an NGO or any other institution, with the goal of converting a person to the religion said institution adheres to."

    It is, at most, a stretch to say that this law breaks the Constitution of the European Union. Missionaries are not banned, but rather regulated to ensure fair and unbiased religious education. The Alkharyan Government is rather concerned about the fact that many churches use irreligious Alkharyans, most of which are clueless about religion, as a way to spread their religious ideology.

    There are hundreds of missionaries approved by the Alkharyan Government ever since the passing of this law in October, which means that religious education is not banned. It is untruthful to say otherwise. These missionaries have to go independent, without the sponsor of any institution because the government believes that it is nearly impossible to have unbiased education when it is a religious organization behind it. The church's beliefs are quite irrelevant when we look at the goal and what the Alkharyan Government is trying to achieve here.


  • ECoJ

    Advocate Kayıhan, thank you for your statement.

    Mr. Ozbilen, you may now deliver your rebuttal statement when ready.

    Jack McCoy
    Chief Justice of the ECoJ


  • EU

    Mr. Ozbilen:There is no exception to the freedom of expression and religion except for if it conflicts with other human rights under law; The argument that teaching of religion is not being restricted is a false one as they are restricting who can come over an speak. A church has as much protection under this clause as an individual as it is the corporate person made up of the people of the church , we should not have to get missionary approval which we have been finding hard to get since they have to be "independent" as soon as we have invited a missionary over to speak on issues like lgbt rights , how to help lgbt in the church or simply to speak on helping the poor it has almost always been rejected. I will say it is true it is hard to be unbiased as members of the church but this is not a reason to ban sponsored missionaries. I understand if they are causing problems for safety of public or a group but this law does not just target those threatening others rights ,it blanket bans all churches inviting missionaries whether they are problematic or not. This means simple update visits so missionaries can speak to give updates on how church members money is being spent and used abroad is currently virtually impossible to do except for over apps like zoom and Pogochat, the argument here is simple their is no exception to freedom of religion except for when it conflicts with others rights , and this is not the case with the ICS Church which is well known as a liberal and accepting church."


  • ECoJ

    Thank you, Mr. Ozbilen for your rebuttal, It is at this point in the case that either side can call upon a witness to testify on their accounts.

    Advocate Kayıhan, you may issue your own rebuttal statement and be first to call upon your witness where the court will determine whether or not to accept them.

    Jack McCoy
    Chief Justice of the ECoJ


  • Commission

    It is quite contradictory indeed that Ozbilen argues freedom of expression and religion should not be excluded unless in case of conflicting with other human rights under the law and then sues the Alkharyan Government, whose main goal with this law is to ensure that freedom of religion does not conflict with other freedoms of a human being. Biased religion teaching affects one's freedom of choosing religion, which, again, is the thing Alkharya is trying to prevent right now. The ICS Church's beliefs and views are completely irrelevant as every religious institution gets the same treatment at the gates of Alkharya. The Alkharyan Government does not care about the religious institution's views in any way whatsoever, and it shouldn't because then it is biased towards an institution itself. The only thing the Government is biased for is the beliefs and the well-being of its own citizens.

    Laçin Kayıhan


  • ECoJ

    Thank You, Advocate Kayıhan. Mr. Ozbilen, you may call upon any witnesses to testify your side of the argument that may be accepted by the court. If not, then we will proceed to question where afterwards, we will proceed to make a ruling on the case.

    Jack McCoy
    Chief Justice of the ECoJ


  • EU

    I call Magnus Weiss a human rights lawyer to the stand. Mr Weiss Do you believe that the ban is legal ?
    Mr WeissNo I don't it lacks balance and is topping fundamental rightzs regarding freedom of religigion. Within reason the visits of missionaries without having to face strict registering requirements is clearly implied by the law, there are exceptions for those known for hate speech or where the preaching would potentially result in violence against a group such as the lgbt but these do not apply here. The ICS respects freedoms of others from religion and generally keeps to preaching in its church or events its invited to, this means people are choosing to go and listen to the ICS churhes preachers and the ban is actually stopping people who have no rights beinmg conflicted with. I would argue this actually is biasing the balance of rights itself as if an atheist visitor wants to come and speak they can without a license but as soon as priest, or aid work or minister of the church does they need a license not sponsored by the church.
    Mr Ozbilen:So you are essentially saying that this is putting an extra burden on all religions and favouring anti-theists rights over those of the religiuous or who have faith?
    Mr Weiss: You would be correct in that assessment , by putting a burden on the ICS without good reason that no atheist organisation has to clear they are essentially taking away the rights of the ICS church and its members to listen to their other members abroad even if they are choosing to listen to them mean while the atheists get essentially a free pass to come in an speak without falling under the law because they are not a religion.They can claim they do not care about the beliefs of an organisation but that in itself is worse since what rights are being conflicted with here? There is no conflict with lgbt rights, or womens rights or rights of any other group as just listening to a speaker on religion doesn't interfere with those rights.
    Mr Ozbilen:Thank you , I would like to question what rights are being trampled on or competed with by the ICS inviting speakers, people and the family are choosing themselves to go to the church , they know the speakers coming so if they didn't want to listen then they could just not go to the church service that day or any day if they don't want to hear from the ICS at all. There are no rights being trampled on or protected by law only the right of freedom of religion being trampled on, people should be able to decide themselves on religion and which one is correct or not and choose who they assemble with and choose to listen to, people are smart enough to know speakers are speaking from a church point of view thats why they come.


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