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H-R court upholds religious freedom of 46 nations
The Church of Scientology of Moscow has won a landmark decision at the European Court of Human Rights, for the good of all religions

IN AN unanimous landmark decision, the European Court of Human Rights gave a verdict in favour of the Scientology religion, upholding religious freedom throughout the 46 nations that comprise the Council of Europe, in a precedent-setting ruling that will help guarantee these rights for people of all faiths. The court overturned the Moscow City government’s refusal to register the Church of Scientology of Moscow as a religious organisation.

The court in its opinion “referred to its settled case-law to the effect that, as enshrined in Article 9, freedom of thought, conscience and religion is one of the foundations of a ’democratic society’ within the meaning of the Convention. It is, in its religious dimension, one of the most vital elements that go to make up the identity of believers and their conception of life, but it is also a precious asset for atheists, agnostics, skeptics and the unconcerned”.

The court went on to find that, “in the light of the general principles outlined above, the ability to establish a legal entity in order to act collectively in a field of mutual interest is one of the most important aspects of freedom of association, without which that right would be deprived of any meaning. The court has expressed the view that a refusal by the domestic authorities to grant legal-entity status to an association of individuals may amount to an interference with the applicants’ exercise of their right to freedom of association. Where the organisation of the religious community is at issue, a refusal to recognise it also constitutes interference with the applicants’ right to freedom of religion under Article 9 of the Convention. The believers’ right to freedom of religion encompasses the expectation that the community will be allowed to function peacefully, free from arbitrary State intervention.

It found that in view of the court’s finding above "the reasons invoked by the Moscow Justice Department and endorsed by the Moscow courts to deny re-registration of the applicant branch had no legal basis, it can be inferred that, in denying registration to the Church of Scientology of Moscow, the Moscow authorities did not act in good faith and neglected their duty of neutrality and impartiality vis-à-vis the applicant’s religious community. In the light of the foregoing, the court considers that the interference with the applicant’s right to freedom of religion and association was not justified. There has, therefore, been a violation of Article 11 of the Convention read in the light of Article 9."

Elena Saycheva, spokesperson of the Church of Scientology of Moscow, praised the court’s ruling saying, “This decision not only confirms the rights of churches of Scientology, but also sets another important precedent to protect the rights of all other religious communities in Europe”.

In Church of Scientology Moscow vs Russia (Application no. 18147/02), the Church of Scientology of the City of Moscow filed an application regarding the refusal of the Moscow department of Justice to re-register the Church as a religious organisation. The Church of Scientology of Moscow was first registered in 1994. After a change in the law the Church filed an application for re-registration. The Church complained that the refusal of its application violated fundamental rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights unanimously confirmed that the Russian Federation violated the Church’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, specifically Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) of the European Convention on Human Rights read in the light of Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion).

This finding guarantees protection for minority religions not only in Russia but also in all 46-member nations over which the Council of Europe has jurisdiction.

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. The Russian federation has more than 40 Scientology churches and missions from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok.

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This article is full of inaccuracies- the writer, Louanne, is most likely a Scientologist- thats all she writes about. Here's the straight dope, a bit of it anyway. Scientology is a litigious, paramilitary quasi-fascist business, a brainwashing cult of psycho-terror. In numerus cases, scientologists are urged (and coersed) by their military superiors, to write/phone the press or net over and over again in order to give an impression of some vast following, which of course does not really exist- the supposed 8 million followers they claim? 100,000 to 200,000 at the most would be more likely. Still, they are extremely dangerous due to the fact that as brainwashed soldiers they will stop at absolutely nothing in their holy war against civilization (which their crazed guru L.Ron Hubbard hated and despised).The cult has accumulated immense (read: IMMENSE) wealth and it plans to use it specifically against anybody who disagrees actively with it . The web is full of fascinating and actually accurate (!) info about this most lying of cults- and guess what: that info is NOT to be found within the cult's own propaganda sites; Most scientologists don't know jack about the real history and facts regarding their group or dead paranoid Leader. Not only are they convinced that all critical writings about Scn. are part of a Cosmic Conspiracy trillions (thats right’ trillions!) of years old, they actually are not allowed to come in any contact with the evil originators of said criticism- the SP's- (that's short for "Suppresive Person")- the "anti social personality", best recognized by the mere fact that he or she are in "this lifetime" anti-Scientology. Scientologists that do communicate with an SP are dealt with by the "Ethics officer" or "Master at arms" , are "handled" at their OWN expense by a self created "Justice System" that would make any decent person's skin crawl, and could face ex-communication by the "Church", their (former) buddies and their own family. For them, as scientologists, ex-communication would be the equivalent of banishment from any chance of spiritual freedom. One should also be aware of the belief system they espouse. In their unbelievably high priced (How about $1000 per hour?) "services", the secretive higher levels, and in his over-the-counter Scientology books and tape recordings- Hubbard talks about aliens and "galactic civilizations" constantly- he gets into great detail about the subject. It's ludicrous. The sheer quantity and depth of the idiocy found in Hubbard's writing is way beyond the scope of this letter. The net provides ample examples and proof to anybody but a brainwashed fanatic. All (new) scientologists are lied to by their "more advanced" colleagues regarding this and other ridiculous "scientific" claims, and are led to believe that they can for the time being, avoid making a personal decision about a specific subject. This goes on until they too have been brainwashed, at which point they will treat the totality of L.R.Hubbard's writing and opinions as absolute truth, NO ifs and buts. Any scientologist saying otherwise is lying: Inside them he or she know the truth- NO ONE may go up the "Bridge To Total Freedom" with any other opinions than those of whom they call: "Source" or "The Commodore". The True Believer lies to himself too, but that is what being brainwashed is all about, and where the biggest betrayal takes form. Do you suppose I would have wasted my time writing this letter had I (and thousands of others who HAVE BEEN THERE) not felt very strongly about this? Just hope your that your own kids don't fall into such a scam. Thanks. By someone who is too scared to sign his name. (Like so many others.)
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