Mormon Chorley temple tax 'not human rights breach'

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European judges ruled the Mormon church must pay tax on a Chorley temple closed to the public after leaders claimed it was a breach of human rights.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was told in 2005 it was not exempt from business rates because it is not providing a public service.

Leaders claimed discrimination, though the temple is eligible for an 80% reduction due to its charitable status,

But judges agreed with the House of Lords that the tax should be imposed.

'Sacred temple'

They ruled that denying the full rate exemption does not violate the church's members rights to show their religious beliefs.

Judges said the purpose of the exemption law was to benefit religious buildings which provided a service to the general public, and imposing the tax did not discriminate against the religion.

Though the Mormons have many chapels in the UK open to the public, they believe the temple is sacred and entrance is restricted.

Malcolm Adcock, UK spokesman for the Mormon faith, said the church respects the Strasbourg court's decision.

The religion has about 190,000 members in the UK.

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