Preserving Human Rights for AllBrussels Office Unveiled by Church of Scientology International
THE OPENING OF THE BRUSSELS OFFICE marked a milestone in expansion of the Scientology religion in Europe — political leaders proclaimed it a stride forward for the human rights of all.
These words by Rev. Kurt Weiland, a member of the board of directors of the Church of Scientology International, underscored a core belief underlying the establishment of the Church’s new European Office for Public Affairs and Human Rights in the heart of Brussels, near the European Parliament and European Commission.
At the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 17, 2003, attended by 500 representatives from governments, religions, human rights and community organizations, and the diplomatic corps, Rev. Weiland also released the “Proclamation on Religion, Human Rights and Society,” the Church’s definitive statement on the role of religion in society, covering the importance of freedom of belief, freedom of expression, democracy, justice, church-and-state relations, freedom of information, a multicultural society, parents’ and children’s rights, and other subjects.
Fabio Amicarelli, the newly appointed director of the Brussels office, introduced them:
Amicarelli said the new office will operate as a focal point for the Church’s human rights activities in Europe and will serve as a resource for those looking for humanitarian help in their communities to solve drug abuse, illiteracy, immorality and crime.
Rev. Weiland explained that the Church’s decision to create a Brussels Human Rights office was motivated by a commitment to help create a social climate in which the rights and freedoms contained in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights can be realized.
The building houses the first permanent European exhibition on Scientology, covering three floors and consisting of 750 displays. It presents the worldwide social betterment programs that are based on the developments of Scientology founder
The exhibition also describes the Church’s human rights initiatives and explains the fundamentals of the religion.
Human Rights Education Campaign
Also speaking at the grand opening, Martin Weightman, human rights director of the Church in Europe, announced a new, broad-scale human rights education campaign.
As part of this, tens of thousands of copies of a booklet, “A Guidebook to Peace through Human Rights,” containing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, have been printed in multiple languages and will be distributed throughout Europe to raise awareness of human rights violations and protections.
Weightman said, “For many years the Church of Scientology has fought for religious freedom and human rights for all people of all beliefs, and we will now broaden our human rights education and social betterment campaigns throughout Europe to bring freedom to even more people.”
More information is available at www.scientology-europe.org.