Scientology: a World Religion
Scientology—a World Religion
International Religious Recognitions
of the Church of Scientology
There is no question of Scientology’s legitimate status as one of the world religions. Scientology is fully developed, by definition of religion, in its theology, religious practice and organization. The breadth and scope of the religion include nearly 8,000 Churches of Scientology, Missions and related organizations with over 20,000 full-time staff in 164 countries, all unified by a common religious goal.
Millions of Scientologists around the world sincerely believe in freedom of religion and the religious tenets and practices of Scientology. For every one of these individuals, Scientology is their religion. This is the most important test of any true religion of the world—indeed, it is the test used by the United States Supreme Court and high courts in many other countries.
In further emphasis of Scientology’s progress since the removal of the S.P. Times’ sources, here is but a partial list of religious recognitions bestowed upon the Church since those individuals were dismissed from any position of influence in Church external affairs.
2005 - 2009
May 2005 — Church granted full religious recognition in Kenya.
August 2005 — Church granted full religious recognition in Sri Lanka.
November 2005 — Bavarian State Administrative Court of Appeal ruled that the Church of Scientology Munich pursues idealistic purposes.
December 2005 — The Federal Supreme Administrative Court in Germany upheld a ruling of the Hamburg State Administrative Court of Appeal that actions taken by the Hamburg government to discriminate against a Scientologist interfered with her right to religious freedom protected by the German Constitution.
May 2006 — Kazakhstan Ministry of Justice registered the Church of Scientology Mission as a religious association.
June 2006 — Church of Scientology in Auckland, New Zealand, was granted tax exemption.
August 2006 — The Church was granted full religious recognition in Nicaragua.
November 2006 — The Value Added Tax Office in the Netherlands granted tax exemption to the Church of Scientology of Amsterdam.
April 2007 — The European Court of Human Rights, the highest court in the European Union, recognized the right of the Church of Scientology of Moscow to be registered as a religious organization under the Russian Religion Law. This decision was reaffirmed by the Court in September 2007.
September 2007 — Church of Scientology of Portugal officially recognized as a religious organization under that nation’s new religious registration law.
September 2007 — The European Court of Human Rights upheld their April 2007 decision, fully recognizing Scientology as a religion.
October 2007 — The National Court in Madrid issued a landmark decision affirming the right to religious freedom by recognizing that the National Church of Scientology of Spain should be entered in the Registry of Religious Entities. The Ministry of Justice complied with the court’s order on December 13, 2007.
December 2007 — South African Revenue Service granted the Church of Scientology the status of a Public Benefit Organization as a religious entity with full tax exemption.
December 2007 — United Kingdom Customs and Excise Office agreed to refund 20 years of improperly collected Value Added Taxes with interest. This refund totaled more than $32 million.
December 2008 — Church of Scientology of Argentina received full religious recognition.
February 2009 — Berlin Administrative Court ordered the immediate removal of anti-Scientology propaganda placed by the Berlin City Administration in front of the Church of Scientology of Berlin. The Court found that the City’s actions violated the Church’s right to religious freedom under Article 4 of the Constitution. The City appealed and the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision in July 2009, establishing a landmark ruling protecting the religious freedom rights of the Church of Scientology throughout Germany.