Russia, here we come

Remember the opening of the new Church of Scientology Russia some weeks ago? This was a leap forward to deliver all of Scientology in Russia! And something else happened today, something that Scientologists might call “negative gain” – an improvement from bad to not so bad ;) – namely that Ministry of Justice officials in Russia changed their mind about a major intrusion in Freedom of Speech. Not voluntarily though, it took several court cases to wake them up to the fact that letters don’t bite.

Says the Associated Press Moscow today “The Church of Scientology says Russian authorities have lifted a ban on some of its publications. A statement on the website of the organization’s Russian branch says 29 books and lectures by the movement’s founder L. Ron Hubbard were banned in late April after a court in the Siberian city of Surgut found them “extremist.” It said Tuesday that Russia’s Justice Ministry has dropped the publications from its list of extremist literature. Ministry officials refused immediate comment, but an online list of extremist literature does not mention Scientology materials Tuesday evening.”

Спасибо, Россия!

- L

Church of Scientology Opens New Church in the Heart of Moscow

Finally! Exciting!

Press release (the photos are from here: http://www.scientologynews.org/press-releases/grand-opening-scientology-ideal-organization-opens-moscow.html ):

The Scientology religion has opened its first major Church in the Russian Federation—the new Church of Scientology of Moscow. The building stands in the city’s central Garden Ring, just a mile from Red Square.

Commemorating this new Scientology Church, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the religion, declared: “It has been said that Russia cannot be understood with the intellect, that it cannot be measured by any common standard and that it can only be believed in. Well, let Russia now believe this: The Church that now stands in Moscow possesses a technology that is all but synonymous with the human spirit. It is a technology to bring forth the goodness in people and the greatness they are destined to achieve. It is a technology that is both kind and strong. It is a technology for freedom and wisdom.”

Scientology established its first Church in the Russian Federation in 1993 after the fall of communism and has seen phenomenal growth in the years since. It has been recognized as a leading voice in the fight for universal human rights.

The new Moscow Church not only meets the needs of its growing congregation of Scientologists, but also serves as the center for all faiths to unite for community betterment and social improvement in the name of religious freedom.

The Church of Scientology of Moscow further coordinates the Church’s many humanitarian initiatives. The 65,000-square-foot building houses a Public Information Display presenting an introduction to all Church-sponsored programs, including those dedicated to drug education, literacy and human rights. The new Church also provides public conference rooms and an auditorium for religious community functions.

The Moscow Church already stands at the forefront of Russia’s greater human rights movement. It works in coordination with the internationally renowned Moscow Helsinki Group, founded by Ms. Lyudmila Alexeyeva. Ms. Alexeyeva is one of the original Soviet era dissidents to decry communist oppression. She is also the recipient of the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. On the occasion of the Moscow Church opening, Ms. Alexeyeva stated: “For me, as a human rights advocate, all religions are equal in their rights. Your Church is particularly devoted to defending the freedom of belief not only for its own parishioners but for all religious people of any denomination.”

The Church’s religious freedom victories are now legend. Scientology’s landmark decisions before the European Court of Human Rights set the standard for religious rights in all 47 member states. In recognition of what this new Church of Scientology represents to religious freedom, Mr. Boris Nikolayevich Panteleyev from the Russian Federation’s Public Chamber stated: “The precedents you have set in the European Court of Human Rights regarding your Church are very important for all those who stand for religious freedom. Today all lawyers, religious scholars, human rights advocates and representatives of other faiths carefully study these texts, seeing in them hope for justice and protection from discrimination in our own land.”

Mr. Panteleyev, who presented the Church with a recognition commemorating its grand opening, continued, saying: “Scientologists work to see that all have the right to thought, to practice religion and to rejoice. You work to see that all people have the right to assemble, the right to establish and support their own churches and organizations; that they have the freedom to think for themselves and to the expression of their thoughts and ideas. These freedoms are the very manifestation of the individual spirit. So it is important that we rejoice today, for this is a glorious day in the name of freedom for all of Russia.”

Scientology’s Drug Free World initiative is but one of the Church programs now adopted by citizens of the Russian Federation. Among its foremost advocates is Dr. Victor Ivanovich Cherepkov, two-term State Duma Deputy, who said: “The drug industry has taken its toll on Russians for years. Until recently we had no solution that could prevent the problem. Your drug education is well recognized in Russia. We are already using your literature and your methods in the fight against drugs. In fact, these are widely disseminated throughout Russia. And it’s spreading for one reason only: it simply is working everywhere and anywhere.”

Dr. Cherepkov went on to say, “In the effectiveness of your anti-drug campaign, I see the wisdom of L. Ron Hubbard—the great teacher and philosopher. For he unlocked the human mind and human problems with knowledge, to free us from the wickedness of existence in the name of creation, perfection and kindness.”

With the new Church of Scientology of Moscow, so begins the next historic chapter for Scientology. It is a chapter that not only signifies a renaissance for the religion itself, but a new era for religious and human rights in Russia.

__________________

Under the guidance of Mr. David Miscavige, the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, the Church is undergoing an era of explosive growth. The opening of the Moscow Church is the second since the beginning of 2011, and the 20th to be christened in cultural centers world over, in just the last 5 years, including:

There are currently another 60 major Scientology Churches in design, planning or construction around the world. (For the complete list of new Scientology Churches, see David Miscavige: At the Helm in the Era of Expansion)

This same period of unparalleled expansion also saw:

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 9,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 165 countries.

Court about Scientology in Russia: Not Extremist

Another piece of oppression went down the drain today:

Surgut city court ruling that Scientology materials are extremist overturned

October 12, 2010

On October 12, the Khanty-Mansi district court overturned the decision of the Surgut city court, which ruled as extremist works of L. Ron Hubbard containing the basics of the teachings of the Church of Scientology.

The March 26, 2010 decision of the Surgut city court was made behind closed doors. No one representing the Scientologists was allowed into the process. The prosecutor, and then the judge, decided that the fundamentals of the doctrine of the Church of Scientology are extremist. The prosecutor later acknowledged in an interview that he did not read the materials and relied on expert analysis. An expert was recommended by Galina Vydrina, an adviser to the governor of Khanty-Mansi who has long been fighting against non-traditional religions. The expert was anti-cult specialist Evgeny Volkov, who, instead of answering the court’s questions, summarized his “scientific” theories without even browsing through half of the materials submitted for analysis. The court as well did not familiarize itself with the materials by Ron Hubbard. The entire judicial process lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Believers in the local community (whose representative is Alexander Ilyin) feel that this decision was taken in retaliation for the recognition by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that local authorities had violated the rights of Surgut Scientologists to freedom of conscience.

Despite the fact that the decision of the Surgut city court had not yet taken effect legally, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation illegally added these materials to the list of extremist materials. Since the publication of this list, law enforcement agencies have been on the hunt for these materials across the country from Blagoveshchensk to Krasnodar, conducting searches and raids, unsealing materials at customs, calling citizens to administrative proceedings.

“The Surgut decision is a disgrace to the judicial system. As a citizen of the Russian Federation and as a lawyer, I’m glad it has been overturned. Even though it would have been excellent grounds for an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, I believe that the ability of the court of appeal to make decisions independently of religious preferences and of the political situation bears witness to the triumph not only of law but of common sense,” said lawyer Galina Krylova.

The head of the chief Scientology Center in Russia, Natalia Dvoryadkin, explained that the works of R. Hubbard have for over 50 years been distributed worldwide in 165 countries. The total circulation of the published materials today exceeds 81 million copies. For more information about the Scientology religion visit the sites www.scientology.ru, www.scientology-moscow.ru, www.scientologyfacts.ru.

(Yes,this is a Google translation… here is the original: http://portal-credo.ru/site/?act=news&id=80189&cf=)

“Ban” of Scientology? The European Court of Human Rights rules otherwise…

Russia’s ban on the Church of Scientology is illegal, the European Court of Human Rights said Thursday in a binding ruling.

The court said Russia cannot ban the Church of Scientology just because it has not been in the country for long and awarded each of the groups euro5,000 ($7,270) in damages. The groups together also received euro10,000 ($14,500) for costs, which they shared.

The case was brought to the Strasbourg-based court by two Russian Scientology branches that were refused listing as “religious organizations” because they have not existed for at least 15 years as required by Russia’s Religions Act. (Source: Associated Press)

Ban stupidity and arrogance from government’s ranks, I say.

- L

  • What is this blog?

    I am running a website, ScientologyMyths.info which deals with critical questions about Scientology.
    So naturally I am into finding answers to the questions that are constantly being asked all over the internet about Scientology, Scientologists, the Church, L. Ron Hubbard and the Church's leader, David Miscavige. I want to find answers from independent sources, not only Church of Scientology owned sites or anti-Scientology hate sites. So what's left? Court documents, photos and other reliable sources. Help me find stuff and ask whatever you want. Thanks!

    The easiest way to shoot a question over to me is to click here.

    Or search below.
  • Archives

  • Religion Photo Feed

    Stabat Mater

    Il bouquet

    Viva santa Rosalia

    More Photos
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.