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IN FRANCE : NEWS
October 31, 2007
NATIONAL CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY RECOGNIZED IN SPAIN
Today, the National Court in Madrid issued a landmark decision affirming the right to religious freedom in Spain by recognizing that the National Church of Scientology of Spain should be entered in the Registry of Religious Entities.
“This recognition marks the end of an era in which Spanish Scientologists were forced to fight for their rights to religious freedom. It vindicates the Church of Scientology and is a new beginning for all Spanish Scientologists,” said Ivan Arjona, spokesperson for the National Church of Scientology in Spain.
The National Court thoroughly examined the Church's formative documents and aims and purposes to unequivocally determine that the National Church of Scientology of Spain has the right to be registered as a religion under Spanish law.
In reaching this decision, the National Court also relied on decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, most notably the Human Rights Court's unanimous decision of April 2007 affirming that the Church of Scientology is entitled to the rights and protections of religious freedom that flow to religious organizations pursuant to Article 9 of the European Human Rights Convention. The principles enunciated in that decision upheld the religious freedom of Scientologists and their religious associations and apply throughout the forty-seven member states that have signed and ratified the European Human Rights Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
“This is the culmination of a series of landmark victories for the Church of Scientology in Europe. Thanks to this recognition, we are now able to devote all our effort and attention to making our community and our country the best it can be, for all its people. The National Court's decision is extremely significant because it constitutes the latest official recognition of the Church of Scientology as a religious organization in Europe. It mandates that Scientologists and their religious associations be afforded the same rights and privileges as members of other registered religious organizations throughout the European Community and in the European Union.” Arjona said.
In September, 2004, the National Church of Scientology of Spain opened grand new premises in the heart of Madrid. That new Scientology church represents not only a house of worship for the thousands of Scientologists in the country, but a resource to the community – and nation – at large. The Church’s social betterment programs reach millions of people every year.
The Scientology religion was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The first church was established in the United States in 1954. Since then, it has grown to more than 7,500 churches, missions and groups and ten million members in 163 nations.
Scientology first came to Spain in the late 1960s.
For more information about Scientology, see www.scientology.org
CAPLC - CAP pour la Liberté de Conscience - Liberté de Religion - Liberté de Conviction