Austria says no to Pastafarians
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Vienna - The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will not become one of Austria's officially recognized religions, the country's religious authority announced Wednesday.
Approval could not be granted because the satirical religion was not tied to a religious belief and defined itself as an ironic movement that criticizes established religions, the authority argued.
Austria's 450 Spaghetti Monster believers, who call themselves Pastafarians, have called for a clearer separation of religion and state in Catholic-dominated Austria.
However, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster scored a bureaucratic victory in Austria in 2011, when its member Niko Alm won approval to wear a noodle colander on his driver's license photo.
The satirical church was initiated in the United States in 2005.