Scientology And Me

September 29, 2009

Young Scientology member Races for Human Right


Recognized at the 6th Annual Youth for Human Rights Summit in Geneva last week, race car driver and Scientologist Niki Lanik explains why he promotes human rights to racing enthusiasts.

Austrian-born race car driver and Scientologist Niki Lanik, 22, uses his sport to champion human rights.  Recognized with a Human Rights Advocate Award last week at the 6th Annual Human Rights Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, Lanik has been an advocate since December 2006. It was then he decided to use his high profile as a successful driver to raise awareness about human rights.  Says Lanik,  “Athletes have fans and followers who read about us or see us on TV.  Youngsters see us and musicians and artists as role models.  It’s important to me that I live up to that trust.”

Lanik’s dedication to promoting human rights awareness and education came after meeting Los Angeles-based film director Taron Lexton in London three years ago.  Lexton directed a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) which bring the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to life.  Lexton also created “United,” an award-winning music video about a young boy from the inner city who unites people from around the world to defend the rights of his friends. These films are part of the human rights awareness campaign of Youth for Human Rights International.

“I thought I knew what human rights are, but I really had no idea until I watched the PSAs and read the booklet that goes with them,” says Lanik.  “Human rights education works, and it changes countries and cultures.  I want to see every village, city and state around the world, poor or rich, black or white, with human rights education as part of their educational curriculums.”

Once he got the point he took on the issue with the same energy that made him a double UK Clio Cup Winter Champion in 2006 and 2007 and won him a place three months ago in the FIA GT3 Championship with the six-man Belgium-based Prospeed race team.

Lanik displays the Youth For Human Rights International logo on his race car, gives out booklets and DVDs to fans and sponsors and plays the PSAs at the race track.  “I promote human rights because I strongly believe every kid has the right to education; I believe that slavery should not exist and that everybody should have the same opportunities.  I insist on a fair world where people of all races can unite and work together, live together and have no quarrels and wars.”

With some 18 million people each year seeing the logo on his car when they watch races on TV, Lanik wants them to ask themselves, “What are human rights?” and go to www.youthforhumanrights.org to find out.

“By our insisting that human rights be part of the curriculum for youth in every country on Earth, we can really make a difference,” says Lanik.  He draws his inspiration from these words of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard: “Human Rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.”

For more information, visit Youthfor HumanRights.org.

February 21, 2009

Church of Scientology: Human Rights Celebrated in South Africa

Marking the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Church of Scientology of South Africa teamed up with the national chapter of Youth for Human Rights International to raise awareness of human rights and secure commitments from community leaders to make 2009 a better human rights year for all South Africans.

Youth for Human Rights (YHR) gave a presentation to teachers representing 14 schools in the Durban township of Kwa Mashu, one of the oldest black urban settlements in the region, with a population of 1.5 million and an estimated 80% unemployment rate among youth.

Prior to the presentation the teachers were asked what are the greatest problems they face in their classrooms. The answers were peer pressure, bullying, violence and crime, with the underlying problem of lack of self-esteem and opportunity for many otherwise bright students.

The teachers’ response was very positive after viewing YHR’s (Youth for Human Rights) powerful audio-visual Public Service Announcements that bring to life all 30 rights of the Universal Declaration. Accompanying illustrated booklets of these rights were distributed to the teachers and YHR’s volunteer team was invited back to give presentations to all teachers of the 24 schools in the township. The teachers further committed to work with YHR and see that human rights education is delivered to all their students throughout 2009.

In Johannesburg a forum was held at the Civic Center attended by 50 youth representing the various regions of the city. The President of the Church of Scientology of Johannesburg opened the event, followed by a speaker from the Department of Youth & Development, an agency of the city’s Social Services, who spoke about the importance of human rights education and the need for youth to take on activist roles to raise awareness of human rights. The second speaker was the head of the Soweto chapter of YHR. He outlined the activities of YHR throughout the year and the plans for 2009, pointing out that widespread teaching of human rights can combat rampant rights violations depressing every sector of the society.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and proclaimed on December 10, 1948, by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all member countries to publicize the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”

July 28, 2008

Scientology speaker at Africa Day celebration in Copenhagen

Copenhagen – This year’s Africa Day celebration in Copenhagen marked the inauguration of the “Right to Play Cup,” a human rights soccer championship co-organized by the Danish African Soccer Academy (DASAC) and Youth for Human Rights Denmark”. DASAC is the creation of former professional soccer player Hamid Faiz Junior and the event sought to encourage young African children in the city to become involved in sports, not drugs and crime.

The main attraction of the day was a soccer tournament, pitting the Star Team (Stjerneholdet), former professional athletes including past members of the national soccer team, against a team of African players.

The event raised funds to help build a playing field and school for a soccer academy Mr. Faiz runs for 300 street children in Malindi, Kenya.

The Copenhagen Football Association (KBU) invited all Copenhagen soccer clubs to attend and donate equipment for the Malindi, Kenya project. Among the well-known artists who provided entertainment for the day were the My Gospel Girls Youth Choir and Charles Kinga and the Reggaelution

The “Right to Play” cup gets its name from a phrase coined by Youth for Human Rights International to summarize the concept of article 24 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A video clip about this right, which appears on the Youth for Human Rights International web site, inspired this competition.

The Director of Public Affairs of the Church of Scientology of Denmark was one of the speakers at the event. She said “We support the Youth for Human Rights education campaign because human rights is a priority in our religion. Scientology Founder, L. Ron Hubbard, placed so much importance on human rights that he made it the first point in the Creed of the Church of Scientology: ‘We of the Church believe that all men of whatever race, color, or creed were created with equal rights.’ We are committed to seeing that all young people can be proud of who they are and accomplish their dreams.”

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