Scientology And Me

December 14, 2007

Scientology got full recognition in Portugal

Filed under: Portugal,religious recognition,Scientology — Louanne @ 3:30 am


Portuguese Scientologists have a very special reason to celebrate this
holiday season: the Church has now been officially recognized as a
religion in their country.

The spokesperson of the Church of Scientology of Portugal,
Betty Damasco, expressed the excitement of the Scientology community
when she said “We are thrilled with this decision. It will allow us to
disseminate our beliefs and the works of our founder, L. Ron Hubbard
much more broadly.” She went on to say, “Our members are busy preparing
to move to much larger quarters, where we will be able to fill the
increasing demand for our community services and work with local
officials to help our country flourish and prosper.”

It is only in the past few decades that
Portugal has adopted a policy of pluralism. Like neighboring Spain,
religious tolerance came late to this country. Just as Spain expelled
all Jews and Moors who refused to convert to the Roman Catholic faith
in 1492, in 1497 Portugal followed suit. Portugal also officially
carried out its own Inquisition for nearly three centuries, from 1536
until 1821. And although separation of church and state was mandated in
the first half of the 20th Century it was not until 1976, when a new
constitution was implemented, that religious freedom was actually put
into practice.

Despite this constitutional protection,
and state recognition of the Scientology religion in 1988, in 2001
Portugal enacted a new religion law, requiring certain religions,
including Scientology, to re-apply for official registration as
religious communities.

The turning point for the Church occurred in April of this year with a unanimous decision by the European Court of Human Rights in favor of the Church of Scientology of Moscow. Spain also officially recognized the Scientology religion in November.

Scientologists throughout Europe are
optimistic about what they see as a trend that will ultimately not only
protect their own rights, but the rights of all men and women in Europe
to practice freedom of conscience and religion, particularly as the
European Court has jurisdiction over all 47 member-states of the
Council of Europe.

December 11, 2007

Scientology in Germany and the world

Filed under: Germany,Scientology — Louanne @ 2:49 am

Not only thanks to its prominent members like Tom Cruise or John Travolta Scientology is a hot news items every day. But aside from glamor and gossip the Church of Scientology can mark some major recognitions this year.
 Since the opening of a series of new major Churches (in Berlin/Germany, Madrid/Spain and New York/USA) the religious status of the Church of Scientology has been further acknowledged all over the world.

 On the 24th of September 2007, the European Court of Human Rights confirmed the Court’s unanimous decision of April 2007 affirming that the Church  of Scientology is entitled to the rights and protections of religious freedom that flow to religious organizations pursuant to Article 9 of the European Human Rights Convention.

 The principles enunciated in that decision upheld the religious freedom of Scientologists and their religious associations and apply throughout the forty- seven member states that have signed and ratified the European Human Rights Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, including Germany and other key European countries.

 On the 31st of October 2007, the National Court in Madrid issued a landmark decision recognizing that the National Church of Scientology of Spain should be entered in the Registry of Religious Entities as a religion.

 On the 5th of November 2007, the Church of Scientology of Portugal was officially recognized as a religious organization.

 On the 3rd of December 2007, the South African Revenue Service granted the Church of Scientology the status of a Public Benefit Organization as a religious entity with full tax exemption.

 The Scientology religion was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The first church was established in the United States in 1954. It has grown to more than 7,500 churches, missions and groups and ten million members in 163 nations.

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