More than 50 members of Congress are sponsoring a resolution criticizing the German government for religious discrimination.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., said Friday that 53 members of the House had signed the resolution, which urges President Clinton to demand that German officials respect religious freedom. The spokeswoman, Heather Mirjahangir, said the resolution has bipartisan support.A similar resolution was introduced last year with far fewer sponsors, but it never came up for a vote on the House floor.

The new resolution quotes from State Department human rights reports expressing concern over the German government's position and cites discrimination against Scientologists. It also notes that a German government inquiry commission has sought information on Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Charismatic Christians and others that could lead to discrimination against them.

While Scientology is recognized as a religion in the United States, the German government officially views it as an economic enterprise out to bilk its members.