Russia and the Church of Scientology

October 11, 2007 at 2:28 am (Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, L. Ron Hubbard, Religion, Scientology) (, , , , , , , )

Today I got a newsletter about the Russians, namely the Russian Government that lost against the Church of Scientology at the European Court of Human Rights. The government denied the registration of the church over there and now they have to register them because they are a religious community. The judgment is valid for all 46 member states in Europe (European Council). Russia complained to the court but they rejected it so the judgment is final now. This is what I got:

“With the denial of Russia’s complaint against a 5 April 2007 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case Church of Scientology Moscow vs. Russia, the ECHRs judgment of 5 April 2007 became final now. By this decision the court confirmed the original judgment. On 5 April 2007 the 1. chamber of the ECHR had unanimously sentenced Russia to pay compensation for damage of 10,000 Euro plus 15,000 Euro of costs for violation of human rights guarantees such as Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association (article 9 and 11 of the European Human Rights Convention) on the disadvantage of the Moscow Church of Scientology. In addition the Russian authorities were ordered to decide again about registration of the Church of Scientology in alignment with the principles laid out in the judgment.

The judgment states that “With regard to a religious communities, denial of recognition means violation of the plaintiff’s right of Freedom of Religion as per Article 9 of the [Human Rights] Convention. The right of the parishioners to Freedom of Religion includes the expectation that the community is allowed to peacefully practice its belief free from arbitrary governmental intervention”.

Which is exactly what the Russian authorities did per the ECHR: “Moscow authorities did not act in good faith when denying registration to the Church of Scientology but neglected their duty of neutrality and impartiality towards the plaintiff’s religious community. Facing the above the court considers intervention in the plaintiff’s right of Freedom of Religion and Association as unjust. Therefore it is a violation of Articles 11 and 9 of the Convention”.

Per the policies of ECHR the Russian authorities made use of their right to complain against the above decision within three months. As was released now, the ECHR rejected the complaint. As of 24th September 2007 the decision became final.

The judgment is very important as it not only guarantees freedom of religion and association of the Scientologists but of all members of all other religious communities in the 46 member states of the European Council.

The Russian Scientology churches of St. Petersburg, Surgut and Nizhnekamsk also complained to the ECHR for similar problems of discriminatory and arbitrary denial of registration.

The Scientology religion was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was founded in the USA in 1954. Today there are more than 7,500 churches, missions and groups with more than 10,000 members in 163 nations. In the Commonwealth of Independent States there are more than 40 Scientology churches and missions from St. Petersburg to Vladivostoc.

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