October 8, 2008 at 1:52 am (Church of Scientology, Religion, Scientology) (, , )

(from – good that someone said something about this French nonsense!)

In April 2007, in the case entitled Church of Scientology Moscow v. Russia, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the rights of all Scientologists to practice their religion free from government interference or harassment. This ruling applies to all 47 Member States of the Council of Europe, including France.

In this landmark case, the European Court of Human Rights made it clear that, while religious freedom is a matter of individual conscience, it also protects and includes freedom to manifest one’s religion through worship, teaching, practice and observance in community with others. These standards include respect for freedom of religion and belief and the rights of members of any faith to assemble to practice freely their religion.

Unfortunately, France has fallen short of these religious freedom standards. Instead, French authorities have continued their campaign against religious freedom for all – the recent improper leaking of judicial information to the press is the latest example.

This constitutes a violation of the Church’s right to the presumption of innocence and violates the strict rules mandating secrecy of instruction. Due to the utter lack of substance behind this 10-year “investigation”, the government is reduced to raising its hollow charges through the press rather than through the Rule of Law in court. We are confident that these actions will never withstand scrutiny in an objective court of law.

The unlawful leaking of information is nothing less than harassment as well as a violation of the right to due process and a fair trial guaranteed by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Church of Scientology has been recognized by dozens of courts and administrative agencies all over the world.

The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954. Today there are nearly 8,000 Scientology churches, missions and groups in more than 160 countries. The Church is enjoying an unprecedented expansion as it engages in an international program to acquire new places of worship and community outreach centers for its Churches in major cities around the world, such as Madrid, London, Berlin and Copenhagen.

These actions by French authorities will not deter its expansion.

Rev. Yvette Shank, National President
Church of Scientology


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