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The Church of Scientology International announces record expansion of the religion in 2006

5 January 2007 · Category: General

The figures released this week by the Church of Scientology International show a year of unprecedented expansion in 2006. But with major community outreach programs about to launch, 2007 promises to surpass any year in the Church's history.

A Scientology Volunteer Ministers helps a victim from the earthquake in Yogyakara, Indonesia (photo)

Scientology Volunteer Ministers helped those left homeless by last summer's earthquake in Yogyakara, Indonesia.

"We live in a world where conflict, crime and continual chaos dominate the news. It is time for positive and sweeping change," said Church of Scientology International spokesman, Rev. Bob Adams. "Working hand in hand with other churches, community leaders, government officials and a wide range of organizations, we are making an important difference in society."

Rev. Adams pointed out that in the last year more than 1,500 new centers, missions and churches of Scientology were opened, including large new central churches in both London and Berlin. With new groups this year in Afghanistan, Niger, and Bahrain the international Scientology presence now totals more than 7,500 centers, missions and churches in 163 nations.

In far-flung regions of the world, Scientology Volunteer Ministers, best known for their disaster relief efforts, set up large tents where anyone encountering a problem in his or her life can go for help. Carrying forward the message that, "No Matter the Problem, Something CAN be Done about it," the Church's Volunteer Ministers Corps numbers 87,000 in 114 nations.

Opening of the Church of Scientology of London (photo)

This year saw the grand opening of a huge new Scientology church in the heart of London.

With the 2006 release of 30 public service announcements that bring each article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to life, the Church's human rights campaign spans 71 nations. These compelling video clips aired on 2,000 TV stations worldwide in 2006, reaching over 50 million people.

"The purpose of the campaign is to educate people on their human rights. These rights are the foundation on which freedom and peace can be built," said Rev. Adams. "More than 200 schools have adopted the campaign and are teaching human rights to children and teens. Young people are getting involved."

For two decades, Scientology Churches have sponsored a worldwide drug prevention campaign. In 2006, in response to the increasing demand for anti-drug information, the Church launched a massive drug education initiative - 5 million drug education booklets printed in 19 languages and distributed throughout 30 countries.

"We recognize that drugs - both street drugs and psychotropic prescription drugs - are the source of a multi-billion dollar industry that is ruining an entire generation," said Rev. Adams. "Our drug prevention programs keep young people from falling into this trap."

In addition to activities administered directly by the Church, the popularity of the secular social betterment programs that use technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard was tremendous in 2006.

From its flagship organization in Oklahoma, Narconon delivers L. Ron Hubbard's solutions to drug abuse in 184 centers across 44 nations. Criminon administers successful criminal rehabilitation in 2,000 prisons. Applied Scholastics International saw to the introduction of L. Ron Hubbard's solutions to illiteracy to more than 1.6 million people this year. And The Way to Happiness Foundation International has distributed copies of L. Ron Hubbard's common sense moral code to 70 million people worldwide.

"These programs are there to combat every one of society's ills," said Rev. Adams. "Drug abuse, crime, illiteracy, immorality, human rights violations - these problems cannot be ignored. And while the past year saw expansion greater than at any time in our history, 2007 will be even better."

The Church of Scientology International urges all people of goodwill to take part in making a better world. "We offer our help to anyone, no matter their religion, race or creed," said Rev. Adams. "We only ask that you use these effective solutions and make them available to others."