Problem

Inaccessible religious records

Other Names:
Restricted access to sacred literature
Delay in release of religious documents
Secrecy over religious material
Classified religious secrets
Incidence:
Access to the Dead Sea Scrolls (dated from between 200BC to sometime in the first century AD) has been severely restricted by Israeli authorities since they were discovered between 1947 and 1956. After decades of protest, in 1991 limited access was granted to scholars, while the rights to reproduce and publish still remain in the hands of the authorized Israeli editors. A computer-reconstructed translation was released in 1992, compiled from secret sources by a university team in the USA.

The Vatican Library is known to contain large numbers of documents relating to the history and theology of religion which are not accessible, even to qualified scholars. Specifc cases are the cause of much speculation, notably the Third Secret of Fatima, purportedly a revelation from Mary. Although read by a series of popes, all have decided not to publish it. For many traditionalists, this suggrests that its contents are too terrible to reveal.

Claim:
No one has title to ancient religious texts. The real beneficiaries are all people whose heritage is illuminated by these precious writings -- they belong to civilization, not an elite group of scholars nor even a single country, culture or religion.
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
24.01.2000 – 00:00 CET