Lifestyle & Belief

American teachers in Taiwan fired for being Mormons

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An elementary school student takes notes during class in Taipei, Taiwan's capital, in February 2010.

Credit:

PATRICK LIN

A Taiwan school has learned the hard way that you can't fire teachers just because they're Mormon.

Two teachers, both American females, were let go from a Catholic school because of their Mormon faith, according to the AFP news wire.

The firing led to a new precedent in Taiwan. For the first time, an employer on the island was fined by labor authorities for religious discrimination.

The lesson to Taiwan's other religious schools? Religious discrimination is really expensive. The fine amounted to $20,000.

Mormons in Taiwan can at least count the president as a sympathizer.

President Ma Ying-jeou told the Taipei Times several years back that he admired the faith's founder, Joseph Smith, and gave missionaries props for using bikes in lieu of cars. "Their clean image elicits good feelings," he said.