La Oficina de Asuntos Públicos y Derechos Humanos de Scientology obtiene reconocimiento religioso en Europa

El pasado 28 de junio de 2019, el Ministerio de Justicia de España otorgó el estatus de entidad religiosa a la “Oficina Europea de la Iglesia de Scientology para Asuntos Públicos y Derechos Humanos[1].

La entidad europea establecida en Madrid, España, y dirigida por un español, opera en diversas localidades en toda Europa y más allá. Esto incluye una segunda oficina principal en Bruselas y actividades en Berlín, Copenhague, Estrasburgo, Ginebra, Londres, París, Roma, Varsovia, Viena, entre otras capitales. Representa a los Scientologists de al menos 37 estados miembros del Consejo de Europa, [más de un 78% de los estados miembro].

Los primeros esfuerzos de la Iglesia de Scientology para dialogar con las instituciones internacionales e intergubernamentales y contribuir a construir los valores europeos comenzaron con una Oficina Europea de la Iglesia en Bruselas y se ha ocupado de asuntos públicos y derechos humanos en toda Europa desde entonces, cuando se estableció en 1990.

De acuerdo al comunicado, desde sus inicios los diferentes equipos y esfuerzos de la Iglesia de Scientology se han guiado no solo por los valores consagrados en el Convenio Europeo de Derechos Humanos, sino también por los promovidos y protegidos por la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea.

Ivan Arjona en el Parlamento Europeo

Iván Arjona, presidente de esta nueva entidad ha declarado que “Europa ha estado evolucionando hacia un movimiento más democrático y justo donde los derechos fundamentales son cada vez más importantes para todos los ciudadanos, contribuyendo a una cooperación más fuerte y positiva entre las naciones de Europa”.

En vista del artículo 17[1] del Tratado de Funcionamiento de la Unión Europea[2], la Unión “respetará y no prejuzgará el estatuto reconocido en los Estados miembros, en virtud del Derecho interno, a las iglesias y las asociaciones o comunidades religiosas” y “reconociendo su identidad y su contribución específica” la UE “mantendrá un diálogo abierto, transparente y regular con dichas iglesias y organizaciones”.

Entre los esfuerzos realizados por la Iglesia de Scientology para contribuir adecuadamente a este diálogo, según el comunicado de la Iglesia de Scientology, un equipo y una oficina renovados ingresaron en dicha esfera al inscribirse en el Registro de Transparencia de la Unión Europea el 18 de julio de 2017, con el número 872253227782-36[3] en la sección de “Organizaciones representativas de iglesias y comunidades religiosas”.

Desde entonces, dicha Oficina ha participado en los diferentes debates sobre temas relevantes, especialmente en el Parlamento Europeo, habiendo logrado la primera acreditación oficial personal para un representante de la Iglesia de Scientology en octubre de 2018.

El último paso dado por Scientology para lograr un diálogo más fructífero, transparente y apropiado con las diferentes instituciones europeas, cumpliendo así con los requisitos formales que se encuentran en las Directrices de 2013 para la implementación del Artículo 17 del TFUE, ha sido la reciente inscripción como persona jurídica de la mencionada “Oficina Europea de la Iglesia de Scientology para Asuntos Públicos”.

La entidad, reconocida ahora como entidad religiosa por el Ministerio de Justicia de España, menciona expresamente en el artículo 2 de sus estatutos, unirse: “…a los valores europeos de Dignidad Humana, Libertad, Democracia, Igualdad / Equidad, Estado de Derecho y Derechos Humanos”.

Los estatutos aprobados establecen su alcance territorial como “nacional y europeo”, actuando como una entidad de referencia para todo el territorio europeo” y operando como una organización sin fines de lucro puramente religiosa, que será responsable de llevar a cabo sus propias actividades y actuar como representante de las diversas Iglesias en Europa ante instituciones públicas y privadas nacionales y supranacionales, fomentando lo que se establece en el artículo 17 del Tratado de Funcionamiento de la Unión Europea y de conformidad con el artículo 2.2 de la Ley Orgánica [española] sobre la libertad religiosa[4].

De acuerdo con sus estatutos, explica el comunicado, el crecimiento espiritual en Scientology se alcanza de dos maneras: a) ayudando a los individuos con sus problemas espirituales y b) aumentando su conciencia espiritual y sus capacidades individuales para ayudarse a sí mismos y a otros a alcanzar las libertades y la dignidad.

Y así esta recién inscrita entidad religiosa, representa diversas entidades religiosas e iglesias nacionales cuyo propósito es practicar, enseñar y dar a conocer la religión de Scientology establecida a través de las obras religiosas de su fundador L. Ronald Hubbard “en beneficio de todos los miembros de la Sociedad”. La Oficina declara que trabaja en involucrarse y en promover un abanico de actividades de mejora social y derechos humanos, entre los cuales están la promoción, educación y campañas de sensibilización en temas de derechos fundamentales; prevención y rehabilitación de drogas, así como la promoción de estándares morales y éticos en la Sociedad. De esta manera, según Arjona, desea “apoyar y ayudar a preservar o restaurar los valores históricos y culturales que tanto benefician a la humanidad”. La creciente comunidad de Iglesias, Misiones, Grupos y entidades de mejoramiento social de Scientology ahora supera los 11.000 distintas organizaciones en más de 170 países.


[1]           Article 17 TFEU – 1. The Union respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States. 2. The Union equally respects the status under national law of philosophical and non-confessional organisations. 3. Recognising their identity and their specific contribution, the Union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these churches and organisations. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12012E/TXT

[2]           The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (latest version 2007) is one of two primary Treaties of the European Union, alongside the Treaty on European Union (TEU). Originating as the Treaty of Rome, the TFEU forms the detailed basis of European Union law, by setting out the scope of the EU’s authority to legislate and the principles of law in those areas where EU law operates.

[3]           http://ec.europa.eu/transparencyregister/public/consultation/displaylobbyist.do?id=872253227782-36

[4]           O.L. 7/1980 5 July on Religious Freedom. Article 2.2 The rights of Churches, Faiths and religious Communities also include establishing places of worship or assembly for religious purposes, appointing and training their ministers, promulgating and disseminating their own beliefs and maintaining relations with their own organisations or other religious faiths, within the national territory or abroad. https://www.boe.es/buscar/act.php?id=BOE-A-1980-15955

Scientology’s Public Affairs and Human Rights Office obtains Religious Recognition in Europe

On June 28th 2019 the Spanish Ministry of Justice granted the status of Religious Organization to the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights[1].

The European corporation established in Madrid, Spain and operates in diverse locations all over Europe and beyond. This includes a main office in Brussels, with activities in Berlin, Copenhagen, Geneva, London, Paris, Strasbourg, Rome, Vienna and Warsaw amongst others. It represents Scientologists from at least 37 Member States of the Council of Europe.

The first efforts of the Church of Scientology to dialogue with European and International intergovernmental bodies and contribute to building European values, started with a European Office of the Church in Brussels and has dealt with public affairs and human rights issues throughout Europe ever since. It was established in 1990.

Since the beginning, the different teams and efforts of the Church have abided not only by the values enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights but also by the values promoted and protected by the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Ivan Arjona-Pelado at the EU Parliament

Ivan Arjona, President of this new entity has stated that “Europe has been evolving towards a more democratic and open movement where fundamental rights have become increasingly important for all citizens, contributing to a stronger and more positive cooperation between European nations”.

In view of Article 17[2] of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union[3], the Union respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States and recognizes their identity and their specific contribution, and in this light the European Union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these churches and organisations.

Among the efforts made by the Church of Scientology to properly contribute to this dialogue, a renewed team and office entered in the field by registering with the European Union Transparency Registry last 18 July 2017, with number 872253227782-36[4] at the Registry’s section ofOrganisations representing churches and religious communities”.

The Office has since then been involved in the different debates on relevant issues especially at the European Parliament, where the first personal official accreditation for a representative of the Church of Scientology was registered in October 2018.

This latest development of the incorporation as a legal religious entity of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs will contribute to a more useful, transparent and appropriate dialogue with the different European institutions, fulfilling the formal requirements in the 2013 Guidelines for implementation of Article 17 of the TFEU.

Resolution Ministry of Justice

The above-mentioned entity, recognized as a religious organization by the Spanish Ministry of Justice, expressly mentions in the article 2 of its statutes the purpose of: “… supporting the European values of Human Dignity, Freedom, Democracy, Equality/Equity, the Rule of Law and Human Rights”.

The approved statutes establishes its territorial scope as national and European, acting as an entity of reference for the entire European territory and operating as a purely religious non-profit organisation, which shall be responsible for carrying out its own activities and act as a representative for the various Churches in Europe before national and supranational public and private institutions, fostering that which is set forth in article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and pursuant to article 2.2 of the [Spanish] Organic Law on Religious Freedom[5].

According to its statutes, spiritual growth in Scientology is reached in two ways: by helping individuals themselves with their own spiritual problems, and by increasing their spiritual awareness and individual abilities to help themselves and others to achieve freedoms and dignity.

The Office represents different national religious entities or churches whose purpose is to practice, teach and make known the Scientology religion established through the religious works of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard “for the benefit of all members of society”. The Office also works to engage in and promote a range of secular social betterment and human rights activities, amongst which are the promotion, education and campaigning on fundamental rights issues; drug prevention and reform, and the promotion of moral and ethical standards in society. In this way it wishes to support and help to preserve or restore those historical and cultural values that are of benefit to mankind. The growing community of Scientology Churches, Missions, Groups and social betterment corporations now surpasses more than 11,000 different organisations in over 170 countries.


[1]           https://maper.mjusticia.gob.es/Maper/DetalleEntidadReligiosa.action?numeroInscripcion=024742

[2]           Article 17 TFEU – 1. The Union respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States. 2. The Union equally respects the status under national law of philosophical and non-confessional organisations. 3. Recognising their identity and their specific contribution, the Union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these churches and organisations. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12012E/TXT

[3]           The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (latest version 2007) is one of two primary Treaties of the European Union, alongside the Treaty on European Union (TEU). Originating as the Treaty of Rome, the TFEU forms the detailed basis of European Union law, by setting out the scope of the EU’s authority to legislate and the principles of law in those areas where EU law operates.

[4]           http://ec.europa.eu/transparencyregister/public/consultation/displaylobbyist.do?id=872253227782-36

[5]                O.L. 7/1980 5 July on Religious Freedom. Article 2.2 The rights of Churches, Faiths and religious Communities also include establishing places of worship or assembly for religious purposes, appointing and training their ministers, promulgating and disseminating their own beliefs and maintaining relations with their own organisations or other religious faiths, within the national territory or abroad. https://www.boe.es/buscar/act.php?id=BOE-A-1980-15955

10 years of legally binding EU Fundamental Rights

While it cannot be denied that the transparency and the perspective of people working in the EU institutions are regularly broadening for the better, it is also true that ‘institutionalised action’ expected as a result of the values expressed in the EU Fundamental Rights Charter, now 10 years after becoming a legally binding instrument, is far from ideal.

This is definitely the case as regards the rights associated with freedom of religion or belief, and non-discrimination based on religious affiliation.

Read full article HERE

Opinion article about Discrimination of Scientologists by Munich authorities. Written by Prof. Georges Elia Sarfati 🗺

ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN SPECIALIZED NEWSPAPER NEWEUROPE.EU

Is Germany, in 2019, really the democratic state we believe it to be? Are freedom of conscience and expression respected by the authorities as most Europeans think? There is every reason to believe that this is not the case when we consider the poor faith trials, as well as the discrimination suffered by the followers or sympathisers of the Church of Scientology whose inspiration and value system have their source in the thought and work of the writer L. Ron Hubbard.  …

Jan Figel on FoRB: “The aim has to be to raise awareness of what is going on in Europe itself” 🗺

EU’s religious freedom envoy wants Europe to do more to protect minorities


The EU’s special envoy for religious freedom, Jan Figel, believes that Europe needs to face up to the numerous cases of discrimination that occur against religious minorities within its own borders.Speaking at a high-level conference in Brussels, Figel said the upcoming European elections in May was a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the threat to religious freedom and belief.“The credibility of the EU and Europe is at stake,” Figel said during his opening address at the Faith and Freedom Summit, a coalition of 18 NGOs which have come together to promote religious tolerance, including in Europe.
Figel said he had personal experience of a society where freedom of speech was frowned upon, saying, “I spent half my life in Czechoslovakia under Communism so know all about this issue. Even today, data shows that some 73% of the world’s population lives in countries which have high or very high restrictions or obstacles in place against religious freedom and belief. We must stop these negative trends and reverse the threat that currently exists. It is not just discrimination against minorities that is going on, but persecution and, in some cases, even genocide,” said Figel, who added, We simply cannot stand by here in Europe and be mere commentators or observers of this.”Figel outlined some positive developments that have occurred in the last five years including the creation of his own special envoy post in 2016 and the adoption of EU guidelines on religious freedom three years earlier, as well as the creation in the parliament of an intergroup for religious tolerance.

The EU Fundamental Agency on Human Rights was another “vital instrument” in the struggle against restrictions on religious freedoms.

Noting the difference between “Continental Europe” and the wider region covered by the Council of Europe, Figel said that “real problems” still exist in Europe, including in Turkey in the crackdown against the Orthodox Church and also in Russia against Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as numerous cases of anti-Semitism in various EU countries.

“We have got to face up to these problems and tackle them head-on. The aim has to be to raise awareness of what is going on in Europe itself, as well as further afield, and to seek improvements,” said Figel. We have to realise that we, in Europe, cannot preach to others what they should be doing if we are not credibly tackling these issues within our own borders”.

NEWEUROPE.EU: Scientologists mark third anniversary of Belgian court win

Scientologists mark third anniversary of Belgian court win


On March 11, 2016, the criminal court of Brussels threw out a case that involved a dozen Scientologists, the Belgian Church, itself, and the European office of the Church of Scientology International that could have seen Church of Scientology banned as a “criminal enterprise” after a judge said the defendants were targeted because of their religion.At the time, the judge criticised the investigators who were involved in an 18-year inquiry into Scientology in Belgium, saying the law enforcement officials and Belgian intelligence officers that carried out the investigation acted out of prejudice and the case brought against the Scientologists was based on vague accusations that were obviously based on targeting the religion.

“The prosecutor constructed his charges based on his own interpretation of Scientology scriptures, contravening just about every internationally recognised human rights standard that protects the right to religious freedom”. READ FULL ARTICLE CLICKING HERE

 

 

 

The Church of Scientology celebrates 65th anniversary, growing bigger than ever

This week millions of people in over 167 countries celebrate the 65th Anniversary of the starting of the Church of Scientology. Currently thriving on 6 continents, the Scientology religion is experiencing greater expansion than in any time in its history, and so are its efforts to promote, defend and protect freedom of religion or believe for all citizens in the world. The Church has recently joined the Faith and Freedom Summit NGO Coalition in Europe becoming an important stakeholder on the subject, and is actively participating at the Geneva UN NGO Committee on FoRB and the Washington International Religious Freedom Roundtable.

“You are a spirit,” wrote L. Ron Hubbard in 1954. “You are your own soul. You are not mortal. You can be free.”

Less than 4 years after the release of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, a group of Scientologists in Los Angeles incorporated the very first Church of Scientology when it was clear to them that this new subject to them was most definitely a religion.

In the last chapter of the book Dianetics, released in May 1950, Mr. Hubbard set 2 goals: “further research into life force” and “an effort to discover a higher echelon of universal origin and destination.”

By Feb. 18, 1954, he had actually accomplished these objectives as well as registered his route of study and research as well as discovery through 450 recorded conferences and also 7 new books.

What he had actually accomplished led the subject directly into the world of faith, religion and spirituality. By establishing processes that could make exteriorization happen — the separation of the spirit from the body– he verified that the Human Beings are actually immortal spiritual beings.

Through the continuation of his task, he supplied a total record of his research into the enigma of existence, the puzzle of death and his mapping of a path to spiritual freedom– all of it fully preserved now for every future generations.

For 65 years since that day, the church has continued to expand throughout the globe. The founder’s publications are now readily available in 50 languages and some of them in more. Scientology has now millions of members as well as churches, missions and groups in 167 nations.

Since almost one year now, March 2018, the church launched the Scientology Network making the religion available to any person, anywhere, causing more people beginning their travel in Scientology than at any previous time since the founding of the movement.

In the past few years, the church has opened 70 new churches from Los Angeles to LondonBogotá to Berlin and Tel Aviv to Tokyo , and counts with an almost 8000 square meters church in the capitals of Europe, Brussels, from where its social campaigns are coordinated in the continent through its Public Affairs and Human Rights Office.

It is under the care and leadership of Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, that the church has actually experienced bigger growth in the last decade than in the previous half a century altogether.

Ivan Arjona-Pelado, President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights, which is included in the Transparency Registry of the European Union, congratulates “all Scientologists around the world and specially the ones Europe” for “the dedication through generations of ensuring the existence of Scientology into its current state”, so that all citizens can now “benefit from the workable solutions and programs that the Church is carrying out in Europe to help having a more moral, united, civic, educated, healthy and free society”.

“For countless ages, a goal of religion has been the salvage of the human soul,” wrote L. Ron Hubbard in Phoenix in 1954. Man can save his soul. Like the bright cool dawn after a night of prison and of thunder, Man can taste that freedom sought so long … We are extending to you the precious gift of freedom and immortality — factually, honestly. You are a spirit, You are your own soul. You are not mortal. You can be free.”

Scientology Europe participates as co-organizer at Human Rights event in United Nations Geneva

The Church of Scientology participated as one of the main co-sponsors of the event of the 70th Anniversary of the UDHR organized by over 20 civil society organizations and Permanent Missions of Estonia, Finland, Philippine and Slovac Republic.

The event, celebrated on December 10th at the original UN room of the League of Nations between 1936 and 1946 in Geneva [Room VII], was headed and organized by CAP Freedom of Conscience and the Fundacion Vida Green Ecological Group, two human rights organizations with which the Church of Scientology work tightly to defend the rights of everyone on earth, fighting religious persecutions, human trafficking and as well as racial discriminations and of all sorts.

In representation of the Church was Mr. Ivan Arjona-Pelado, President of the Brussels based European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs, who was honored with being one of the Masters of Ceremonies of the celebration because of his key implication in the organization of the event.

During his speech at the panel dedicated to the actions of faith-based organization to promote Human Rights, Mr. Arjona-Pelado spoke of the origins of the Creed of the Church of Scientology, which developed by founder L. Ron Hubbard states that “all Men [meaning both Men and Women] of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights… inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance… inalienable rights to their own lives…” and also made reference to the work being done through the campaigns UNITED for HUMAN RIGHTS and YOUTH for HUMAN RIGHTS because of the incredible materials they have produced with the support of the Church and its members.

He continued saying that: we not only urge our own people to KNOW, LEARN and APPLY the UDHR, but we also make sure everyone around us get to know them. It is our duty to engage civil servants, diplomats, with people from different beliefs and non believers, to make sure that the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion can be enjoyed by every human being, and it is in this light that we have fought for this right and others at the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the OSCE and even the United Nations Human Rights Council, defending Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and every other existing religion and ways of belief”.

And he concluded with this final statement and call: “We should all be UNITED for HUMAN RIGHTS, we should all STANDUP4HUMANRIGHTS. Lets share our success stories, lets use the materials provided by many, to make Human Rights, in this 70th Anniversary of the UDHR, a sustainable reality well in its way”.

Among the circa 120 participants to the event, there were representatives of numerous civil society organizations, as well as personnel from the UN Permanent Missions of Armenia, Angola, Congo, Cuba, Gabon, Georgia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Soudan, Sri Lanka, Uruguay and Zambia.

With speeches from over 20 NGOs, churches and activists, the attendees learned a grasp of good practices around the world to make Human Rights known, being education a key factor most of the speeches.

The Conference was structured with different themes, and starting with a panel in which the co-organizing missions encouraged all the activists to keep working on Human Rights and to do it together with the states.

This was followed with the screening of the award-winning documentary ”The History of Human Rights” (www.humanrights.com), produced by United for Human Rights and Youth for Human Rights, and which the attendees applauded with great enthusiasm and admiration.

The 2nd panel topic was: Education – Knowing and understanding the UDHR to apply it, was moderated by Mr. Luis Alberto Alarcon-Valencia, Chairman of the ECOSOC Foundation Life Green Ecological Group, and had the participation of the representatives of “Humanidad de Oro” [Mexico], “United for Human Rights International”, “Association of Training and Orientation to the Refugee and Migrants (FOARE)[Spain-Colombia-Venezuela], “Foundation for a Drug Free Europe” [Sweden], and “Corporación Vida SILOE” (Colombia-Spain).

The topic of the 3rd panel: Faith based organizations committing to the UDHR, was moderated by Mr. Martin Weightman, Director of the UK based All Faiths Network, who had the participation of the representatives of “Assoc. for the Promotion of the Dialogue Intercultural and Interreligious” [Switzerland], “United Sikh International” [United Kingdom], “Muslim Ahmadiyya Community”, “Church of the Light of the World” [USA and Mexico], “Center of Studies on New Religions CESNUR” and the “European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs”.

The 4th and last panel was about the Commitment of activists with public authorities to further & protect the UDHR and it was moderated by Mr. Eric Roux in his capacity of Chairman of the “European Inter-Religious Forum for Religious Freedom” and had the participation of representatives from “Gerard Noodt Foundation” [Holland], “Soteria International [Denmark], “European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion” and the “Fundacion para la Mejora de la Vida, la Cultura y la Sociedad” [Spain].

EuropeanGazette interviews Ivan Arjona-Pelado on Scientology

Written By: Seringe S.T. Touray for the www.europeangazette.com

Visible from the peaks of some of Madrid’s high-rise structures is the municipality of Pozuelo de Alarcon at a distance, surrounded by Mediterranean pine-tree forests, my family has made this part of the Spanish Kingdom home for a decade. With a mere ten-minute drive from the region of Pozuelo, one might easily chance upon the busy intersection of Plaza de Cibeles, the iconic square in the heart of Madrid overseen by the Cybele Palace. At a walking distance from this centre of the vibrant city stands conspicuously the Church of Scientology in Madrid.

With the help of the Church, I was put in touch with Iván Arjona Pelado – Director General of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights in Brussels, and President of the Church of Scientology in Spain. Iván Arjona was kind enough to grant my request for an interview in which to discuss important topics regarding Scientology and Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard, and the religion’s perception through the lens of the general political world. Iván was born and raised in Tarragona, a Spanish city by the Mediterranean Sea, and would eventually elect to dedicate his life to the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has maintained his position as President of the Church of Scientology in Spain since 2007.

The world of politics is shaped by culture. As the society evolves, so does the political climate. The political perception of Scientology is thus partly dependent on the social perception of the Church and of the philosophy of L. Ron Hubbard. Therefore, my interview with Iván Arjona delves into what he believes the public perception of Scientology is.

In your time in Spain, what would you say the public image of the Church of Scientology has been?

I would say there has been an increasing interest and a real 360 degrees change since 1997. There are more and more people who just want to find out what Scientology is and what it could do for them. Of course most of them have heard all the non-sense that groups of vested interests have always been pushing, and when they come in we offer freedom and hope. Some specific people and groups don’t like that. Overall society is enduring a change, and looking more and more for effective solutions, so the image (of Scientology) will keep improving more and more.

How do you communicate with people who have no knowledge about Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard, but are interested in learning?

What’s best is to introduce them to our Church of Scientology audiovisual exhibit, which has over 500 short videos in 17 languages. These videos explain the creed of the church, including topics like The Reactive Mind and how to overcome it, and even videos explaining tools for better personal communication and the social activities that scientologists do all over the world. And after that the best is that they get a book by Mr. Hubbard and read it. Some of the best for starters are DIANETICS, THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THOUGHT, and SELF-ANALYSIS. They are all three very practical.

Among other things, L. Ron Hubbard’s DIANETICS talks about how influential the subconscious is, and how vastly it affects our consciousness. Do you therefore see it as your duty or responsibility to educate and awaken people by introducing them to Scientology and the teachings of Hubbard?

I believe DIANETICS can help people find the best version of themselves, and if everyone finds or unveils this best version, it will benefit mankind, so I would find it a bit egoistic to keep it only for me and my friends. Therefore, yes, it is my responsibility, and this is how I get up in the morning and how I go to bed at night, looking at what I am going to do today to further extend the possibility of unadulterated knowledge of Scientology for everyone.

Religion is a personal thing. Many would like to get into the mind of a scientologist to better understand Scientology. As a member of the Church, what is Scientology to you?

The funny part is that to really catch it, you need to experience it yourself. No sales speech would do justice as to what Scientology is and does for you, or better expressed, what Scientology enables you to do for yourself and others. To me, it is a tool to make this world a better place. It is a tool that is actually a religion, which gets me closer and closer to the true power and essence of life, and by increasing this connection, this knowledge about it, I increase my ability to help others and in this way help myself.

Millions have access to information regarding Scientology. But many with insufficient knowledge about the religion and the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard condemn its practices. What message do you have for such people who voice their disapproval of Scientology?

I advise them to read a book by L. Ron Hubbard, and look for things they can agree with. They will surprise themselves of how many things Mr. Hubbard wrote that if well understood are common to the deepest purposes and thoughts of mankind. However, they have to be brave enough to honestly look into it and make up their own minds, and not everybody is ready yet to find this bravery, but time will come. Times will be easier and easier, and even those currently criticizing will at one point recognize for themselves that Scientology can actually help them.

Ever since L. Ron Hubbard, many have argued that Scientology is not a religion. How would you respond to them?

There are more and more people, courts, governments and experts that recognize Scientology as a religion. Another thing is some media controlled by powerful vested interests. Scientology is a religion in the deepest meaning of the word. Now, we know that the word religion has been manipulated through the centuries to enslave people, but this is again, certain groups of vested interests who want people out of religion, as religion is somehow knowledge, and knowledge, it is said, will set you free. Scientology is knowledge, it has a transcendental goal, it has certain practices to achieve this transcendental goal, and it has a community (a growing one) that exercises these practices to achieve this higher goal.

How does the religion of Scientology affect your relationship with your family and friends?

Personally, Scientology has been of great and invaluable help. It gave me back my parents as a united loving couple. It gave me back my sister. Scientology has helped me be more able to do what I always wanted to do, which is to help people be free, be honest, be willing to help others. I see no possible higher pay that I could get. No money in the world could be compared to the feeling one gets when one effectively helps a relative, a friend, or anyone who is in need.

Madrid City Council presents first “Manual for the police management of religious diversity” of Spain with the participation of the Church of Scientology

  • The document was presented on December 17th, by the delegate of the Area of ​​Health, Safety and Emergencies, Javier Barbero; the deputy director of the Pluralism and Coexistence Foundation, Puerto García; and the third deputy mayor and head of the Human Rights Plan of the Madrid City Council, Mauricio Valiente
  • In its elaboration all the religious confessions present in the city of Madrid have participated

MADRID CITY COUNCIL / CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY  – Madrid 17th Dec 2018. Five days after the 11th anniversary of the inclusion of Scientology in the Special Registry of Religious Orgnizations by the Spain Ministry of Justice (12th Dec 2007), the City of Madrid and the Foundation Pluralism and Coexistence present a Manual for the local police to help them increase their knowledge, respect and care to the religious diversity in Madrid.

“Scientologists of Madrid, Spain and Europe at large are happy with such a development pioneer in Spain but probably also in the whole of Europe, in which our church has had the honor to take part in” said Ivan Arjona, President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights. “Every other European capitals should follow the lead of Madrid and engage with all religions present in their area to help improve the understanding of the differences and common purpose for sustainable development and growth of their cities and wellbeing of their citizens” concluded Arjona.

The manual includes a factual but brief description of Scientology, its history and practices (as well of for the other religions), and also the main religious festivities of everyone, in which they included the birthday celebration of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard (Marc 13th), the founding of the International Association of Scientologists in October, the “Auditor’s Day” (the Scientology ministers), and the anniversary of the release of the first Scientology related book, the bestseller Dianetics (May 9th, 1950).

The Delegate of the Area of ​​Health, Safety and Emergencies, Javier Barbero; the deputy director of the Pluralism and Coexistence Foundation, Puerto García, and the third deputy mayor and head of the Human Rights Plan of the Madrid City Council, Mauricio Valiente, presented last 17th of December 2018 the “Manual of police management of religious diversity”, the first of Spain and in which all the religious denominations present in the city of Madrid have participated.

The document has been prepared by the Diversity Management Unit of the Municipal Police of Madrid with the collaboration of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, the Archbishopric of Madrid, the Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain, the Jewish Communities Federation of Spain, the Spanish Islamic Commission, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses, Federation of Buddhist Communities of Spain, Orthodox, Baha’i Community, Hindu, Church of Scientology and Sikhs within the framework of a Cooperation Agreement of the Area of ​​Health, Safety and Emergencies of the Madrid City Council and the Foundation Pluralism and Coexistence, under the Ministry of Justice.

Javier Barbero has been very satisfied with this manual because “all the religious denominations present in Madrid have cooperated on this document. This is a way of expressing that we are capable of reaching agreements, and that we are capable of integrating differences in a city that can be plural and inclusive”.

Mauricio Valiente said: “This manual is a first step of a normative that will regulate the freedom of conscience and religious plurality in the city of Madrid in which we are working with a group of entities. We hope to have it approved in January and that includes not only police management but also participation in religious ceremonies and other aspects, to have a framework of rights and thus the City of Madrid takes an important step in a matter in which there is hardly any type of regulation”.

Finally, Puerto Garcia, general deputy director of the Foundation Pluralism and Coexistence (from the Spain Ministry of Justice), has indicated that the Foundation especially value the manual because “it is a pioneer, is an area which the Foundation and the Ministry had not yet developed, we had worked in the field of town-planning, funeral services, etc., but not in this one. Today with it we have a reference manual for other municipal police services and with which we advance a lot because although it is a matter of state competence, people live in cities, and in the end people exercise their rights in cities, including the one of religious freedom.”

Religious richness and diversity

The City of Madrid is characterized by the social diversity that is composed of, and there is a whole heterogeneous group of people who provide religious, social and cultural enrichment, where all of them enjoy the same rights and duties. As a reflection of this Right, in the City of Madrid one finds multiple and diverse religious denominations, which, for their own exercise and development, establish their places of worship.

On the date on which this document is drawn up, the Observatory of Religious Pluralism in Spain indicates that there are 7,131 places of assembly destined for the worship of other religious confessions other than Catholic. The city of Madrid, in particular, houses 504 of these places of worship. If we break down the data by denominations, those with the highest number of places of worship in the municipality of Madrid, except Catholic, are the Evangelical with 366 churches, followed by the Muslim community with 40, Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses with 20 and the Buddhist and Orthodox confessions with 18 and 15 places of worship respectively.

In the day to day of the city of Madrid, and for this reason of coexistence of numerous religious confessions, one could run into acts of intolerance, discrimination or situations of conflict towards or between people who practice different religions.

On the other hand, the celebration of different liturgies and other manifestations of the different worships and rites, are faced with other interests of citizenship, and so conflicts between different fundamental rights may arise, basically complaints about problems of coexistence derived from noise or use of the public space. On many occasions the management of these conflicts corresponds to the Municipal Police, and to better manage the conflict it is necessary to increase the knowledge about the reality of the religious diversity of the city of Madrid.

For this reason, the ‘Manual of police management of religious diversity’ has been drafted, as a consultation document for commanders and police of the Municipal Police of Madrid.

The document consists of a conceptual framework on the religious diversity present in Madrid and also reflects the regulatory framework in which they relate to public authorities. The text also includes various indications on how police action should be in certain situations for which you can request Municipal Police services, such as places of worship, the use of roads and public spaces or school cafeteria services.

Also included in the manual the police finds annexes with additional information on the activity of the places of worship and their symbolisms, main festivities and events with greater public repercussion, list of places of worship in Madrid.

Recognized rights

The Right to Freedom of Religion or Worship is recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its article 18, which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes the freedom to change one’s religion or belief, as well as the freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief individually and collectively, both in public and private, by teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

It is also included in the Spanish Constitution as a fundamental right, in article 16.1, which guarantees “the right to freedom of ideology, religion and worship for individuals and communities without further limitation, in their manifestations, than what would be necessary for the keeping of public order. protected by law.”

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