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Freedom Magazine Investigations - presented by the Church of Scientology
Freedom Magazine Investigations

March 13, 2000

For more information
Contact: Karin Pouw
Phone: (323) 960-3500
Fax: (323) 960-3508


Following the granting of full tax exemption by Swedish tax authorities last November, all Churches of Scientology in Sweden were registered today (March 13) as “religious communities” by the National Judicial Board for Public Lands & Funds. The registrations were made under a new law on religious communities that took force on January 1, 2000, with the purpose of further establishing equal rights for all religions in Sweden.

The registrations amount to an unequivocal recognition that the Swedish government is honoring its commitment to ensure religious equity, and they confirm the status of Church of Scientology as a religion in Sweden.

The law, titled the Act on Religious Communities, is one of a series that mandates a separation of the Lutheran Church, officially called the Church of Sweden, and the State. The Lutheran Church and the Church of Scientology are among the first religious communities to be registered under the new Act.

The Church of Scientology of Sweden as well as local churches of Scientology in Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm all received registrations.

“These recent events demonstrate that Sweden takes a leading role when it comes to promoting equality between different religions,” said Rev. Heber C. Jentzsch, President of the Church of Scientology International. “All across the world from the United States to Sweden to Australia, Scientology is now recognized as a worldwide religion.”

The new Act confirms that Sweden’s treatment of religious communities aligns with the provisions about freedom of religion in the Swedish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. According to the Act, “A religious community in the sense of this law is a community for religious activity which includes organizing religious services.”

The Church of Scientology in Sweden celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. In November the same year, Swedish tax authorities declared the Church a non-profit organization with a religious purpose that serves a public benefit, and is therefore entitled to exemption from taxes. That decision by the Stockholm tax office was a milestone for the Church of Scientology in Sweden, and the new registrations as religious communities further confirm the religious status and establishment of the Church in Swedish society.

Scientology was founded by philosopher and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard in 1954. As part of its social mission the Church supports many charitable and social programs in the areas of drug rehabilitation, criminal reform and literacy programs.

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