Official Recognitions of Scientology

Scientology: Religious Recognition in Europe & Around the World

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Introduction

Scientology: Religious Recognition in Europe & Around the World (cover)Since 1954, when the first Church of Scientology was founded, the religion has grown to approximately 10 million members and is present through its churches, missions or groups in over 150 countries around the world.

Wherever the church exists, it endeavours to register as some form of non-profit association with religious purposes, according to the laws of that country, with the exception of countries where such registration is not possible. The legal systems of each country often differ significantly. Some have official registries of religions where all groups are obliged to register and meet certain criteria. Others take the opposite view and specifically prohibit keeping official lists of 'accepted' religions considering that this is not a matter that falls within the jurisdiction of the State.

Governments and courts of many different countries recognize the religious character of Scientology. This booklet is intended to give some understanding of how Scientology is seen in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

Europe

The majority of countries in the European Union do not have a religious registry system within their legal framework (or even have a form of official religious recognition). In those countries that do have a form of registry procedure (including countries who are not part of the EU), Scientology has been recognized as a religion in the following: Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Albania.

The majority of States in the European Union have other forms of recognition. In many of these countries, Scientology has been recognized as a religion through administrative and judicial decisions, including decisions by the highest court in the country. These decisions include the following countries – Italy, Denmark, Austria, Germany, UK and Norway.

There are many other judicial, administrative and registry recognitions in other countries of the world too. Some examples are - USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Nepal, Tanzania, Kenya, Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil, India, Philippines and Sri Lanka.

You can find out more about the official recognition of the Scientology religion by downloading and reading the booklet, Scientology: Religious Recognition in Europe & Around the World.

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