Payday loansPayday Loans

Recent News

  • Myanmar Politician Preparing to Seek Legal Limits on Interfaith, Interethnic Marriage

  • Call for Religious Leaders to Teach Acceptance in Malaysia

  • Attacks on religion, liberty

  • Can Muslim lands learn to tolerate Christianity?

  • China vents anger over Dalai Lama's planned Norway visit

  • Militia attack Muslims in Central African Republic's capital

  • Egypt’s new charter stronger on personal freedoms

  • Pussy Riot members freed from prison

  • Frank Wolf, champion of religious freedom, will end congressional career

  • A Political Deal in a Deeply Divided Tunisia as Islamists Agree to Yield Power

  • Egyptian Christians Bridle at Prison Terms for Copts Only in Fatal Clash

  • The Central African Republic descending into ‘complete chaos’

  • French burqa ban challenged in top European court

  • Sharia in Sudan v. women and religious freedom

  • China aims to harness religious beliefs to promote harmony

  • Afghanistan Considers Reinstating Public Stoning for Adultery

  • Sunnis Close Baghdad Mosques to Challenge Religious Attacks

  • Modi campaign stirs religious divide in India's heartland

  • Aung San Suu Kyi, and Myanmar, faces an uncertain future

  • Syrian Christians flee persecution as Patriarch urges them to stay in war-torn country

  • Central African Republic on the verge of genocide, France warns UN

  • Myanmar rejects U.N. resolution on Rohingya Muslims

  • How the State Department Is Getting Religion

  • UN to Myanmar: Make Rohingya Muslims citizens

  • Our Failed Religious Freedom Policy

  • Turkey drops a screen over Christianity

  • Opinion: The oppression of Bahais continues in Iran

  • TAJIKISTAN: "The Law demands that all religious literature be checked by the State"

  • Sudan’s Enduring Question: The Role of Shari'ah in the Constitution and Law

  • The Role of the Hijab Is Becoming a National Problem for Russia

  • For Indian Christian leader, Narendra Modi is a threat to religious freedom

  • Commentary: The two faces of India

  • With 'loving kindness', Myanmar frees 69 political prisoners

  • New U.N. Rights Council Members Are Elected

  • Turkish court lifts headscarf ban for attorneys

  • Egypt's Christians close ranks as kidnappings spike

  • Hundreds of Buddhists in Myanmar protest Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s upcoming visit

  • Frank Wolf Renews Calls for Release of U.S. Pastor from Iranian Prison

  • Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict

  • China paper blames blind faith of “uncultured” Uighur youth for Xinjiang unrest

  • Turkey's Alevis protest for greater freedoms

  • KAZAKHSTAN: "He was told not to sell religious literature"

  • Myanmar violence between Buddhists, Muslims threatens reforms

  • UZBEKISTAN: Baptist camp ordered seized, Protestant pressured to inform

  • Tibetans Call China’s Policies at Tourist Spot Tacit but Stifling

  • Violence against Muslims threatening Myanmar reforms: U.N. envoy

  • Putin says unnamed foreign foes use radical Islam to weaken Russia

  • Malaysia’s curbs on use of the term ‘Allah’ hurting its moderate Muslim image

  • Vietnamese Court Orders Two Parishioners of Vinh Diocese Jailed

  • Opinion:State Department stays mute on persecuted religious minorities worldwide

  • Turkey, Religious Freedom and the Current State of Christian-Muslim Dialogue (1895)

  • In Nigeria, Wedlock Seen as Terror Fix

  • Northern Iraq no longer safe for Christians

  • Clerics call on UN military force to secure Central African Republic

  • EU condemns Egypt church violence, urges end to religion-based attacks

  • Young Turkish Jews emigrating due to anti-Semitism, tensions with Israel

  • Egypt orders trial of four policemen over killing of Islamist detainees

  • Passion of Pakistani Sufis infuriates Taliban

  • Egyptian writer may face jail for accusations of defaming religion

  • UN expert hails “key breakthrough for religious freedom reached in Cyprus”

  • Kenneth Bae's mother tells of heartbreak after seeing, leaving imprisoned son

  • Conviction of Christians for Murder of Hindu Leader in India Biased, Unfounded, Attorneys Say

  • Opera Fights Hungary’s Rising Anti-Semitism

  • Buddhists and Christians denounce Hanoi for using law to control religions

  • ARMENIA: "Imprisoned conscientious objectors should be immediately and unconditionally released"

  • Bombs planted in confessional box of Syrian church

  • French court upholds Scientology fraud conviction

  • Suzan Johnson Cook to resign as religious freedom ambassador

  • BELARUS: Why is Catholic priest still detained by KGB secret police?

  • Q&A: What Court Decision on Use of ‘Allah’ Means for Malaysia

  • The Surprising Story Of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an'

  • Religious tension runs deep for Vietnam’s minorities

  • Malala Yousafzai wins EU's Sakharov human rights prize

  • Religious liberty takes center stage in diplomacy with Iran

  • Turban row: Sikh NGO wins case against France at UN

  • Vietnam Lets Churches Thrive, but Keeps Control

  • KAZAKHSTAN: Pastor to be transferred from prison to house arrest

  • Kenya Salvation Army Church Torched; Four Killed

  • Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng gets U.S. platform to promote human rights

  • Orthodox leader calls for end Christians' persecution

  • Jewish groups slam Council of Europe Assembly resolution on circumcision

  • Opinion: Quebec’s coup d’etat against religious freedom

  • Small town, big impact: Supreme Court case could define religion’s role in public

  • European council passes anti-ritual circumcision resolution

  • Council of Muftis complain to U.S. reps about disrespect for Muslims in Russia

  • Woman, 94, killed as Buddhist rioters attack Muslim villages in western Myanmar

  • RUSSIA: What's wrong with "extremist" Koran translation?

  • Persecution against Christians increases in many parts of the world

  • How Promotion of Religious Freedom Can Help Prevent Extreme Violence

  • RUSSIA: Muslims rush to challenge Koran "extremism" ruling

  • Judge Ordered Sikh to Remove 'That Rag' from Head, Says ACLU

  • Donate by Paypal or Credit Card

    Solution Graphics

    Click Amazon to Help ICRF

    amzn-ba100x70.gif (2357 bytes)

    Help ICRF with your donation

    Follow ICRF on Twitter

    Twitter Image

    Like Us on Facebook

    Facebook Image
    Scientology PDF Print E-mail

    Sue Taylor, Church of Scientology, International

    delivered at the
    International Coalition for Religious Freedom Conference on
    "Religious Freedom in Latin America and the New Millennium"
    October 10-12, 1998, Sheraton Mofarrej Hotel, Sao Paolo, Brazil

    I have to tell you just a little bit about the discrimination against our church over the years. The religion of Scientology was founded by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1950s. We now have about eight million members around the world and churches and missions in about 100 countries. As a new religion, we have experienced a lot of abuse and discrimination over the years from those who are anti-religious and those that have originated and passed false information in an effort to suppress our religion.

    The discrimination has come in various forms. In the United States it has come from the government agencies that have conducted raids upon our church and spread false information. As a result, our members from foreign countries were not allowed to enter the United States during the 1970s. This was greatly relieved in 1993 when the Internal Revenue Service formally recognized our church as a religion and we became tax exempt. In England in the 1960s, all foreign Scientologists attempting to enter that country were banned. Fortunately the ban was lifted several years later. In Australia, Scientology was banned from one of the states. In 1983, the Supreme Court of Australia recognized not only the Church of Scientology, but also 500 other religions in that country.

    In the 1980s, there was widespread kidnapping and deprogramming in the United States and in Europe by anti-religious groups. Members of our church were held sometimes for many months against their will. Then, in the late 1980s, raids upon our churches in Italy closed all of them on the same day. Only after several months were we to reopen some of our churches. This situation was solved years later by several court decisions. Also in the late 1980s, when the President of the Church of Scientology International visited Spain, within 24 hours there was a raid upon the luncheon at which he was speaking. He and all of the members in the room from Portugal and Spain were placed in prison. Fortunately, he was in prison for only three weeks, but he was under house detention for over three months—again, for no reason. Even today, raids on our church continue in France.

    In the early 1990s, a wave of discrimination started in Germany, which has continued to escalate up to the present day. The discrimination in Germany is institutional. It comes from the federal, state, and local government. It started with a wave of anti-religious stories in the media directed against our church. Once public opinion was turned against us, numerous things started to happen to our members. Scientology members are banned from the major political parties. One of the political parties, the CDU Party, even has an application form in which, right at the top, anyone who wants to become a member must attest that they are not members of the Church of Scientology.

    There is also artistic discrimination. Scientology artists are banned from performing in Germany. This includes musicians, painters, actors, actresses, etc. The CDU political party has published numerous publications against our church, as well as other minorities. Just a couple of years ago, what we call an "electronic Star of David" was placed in all government computers in Germany branding Scientology companies and businesses so that everybody can see if they don’t want to deal with those particular companies.

    An "enlightenment" program is mandatory in all the public schools in the state of Bavaria and several other states. In this program, children are taught how dangerous Scientology is and that they should stay away from it. The children have to draw little cartoons to express what they have learned in school.

    There is a term called "sect filters," that is used by many government agencies and private businesses now. Furthermore, a person who is working for a company has to sign a piece of paper saying he is not a Scientologist and that he does not use any of the works of L. Ron Hubbard. Scientologists who refuse to sign these pieces of paper lose their jobs instantly. They lose their jobs solely because they are Scientologists, not for any other reason.

    Scientologists cannot be teachers or doctors, nor can we hold civil service positions in Germany. Several years ago our church was put under formal surveillance by the government, and to this day, the surveillance continues even though they have found nothing wrong with our church. They keep saying, "We need to look deeper. There must be something wrong." Banks refuse Scientologists loans. There have been numerous death threats and bomb threats. Fortunately, we have not experienced any deaths in Germany. But because of all this, many Scientologists have left Germany to raise their families.

    In Germany, the court system is different than the administrative system. The courts investigated our church for years and found nothing wrong. They keep trying to tell the administrative side that they cannot find anything wrong and they refuse to investigate any further. Yet, the abuses continue. The courts have also declared that Scientology is a religion. Yet, as I said, the discrimination continues.

    This discrimination by Germany has now spread as far as the United States. Members of our church who are working for German organizations—for instance, a German bank in New York City—have actually lost their jobs because they are Scientologists. In the United States this is not legal. Any foreign company working on our soil has to abide by US law. This means they cannot discriminate against people on the basis of race, color, or creed. One member in New York City actually brought a court case against a German bank and she won. Even Scientologists who have companies in the United States that do business in Germany have been banned from doing business in Germany. Today, it is not just discrimination against Scientology, but also against Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Unificationists, and many others.

    This discrimination has been met with an outcry from the United States State Department, the Helsinki Commission, the US Congress—through a resolution that is soon to be adopted—and by human rights organizations around the world. Yet discrimination against minorities continues. All we are asking from the German government is to have a sincere dialogue, to come to the table, sit down and work out our differences. The German officials continue to say, however, that there is no discrimination against Scientology. According to them, there is nothing wrong. Because of this attitude on the part of the German government, it is very difficult to have a dialogue. We are totally convinced that having a dialogue will solve this problem and that this hatred can actually come to an end. Fortunately, the CDU party lost the election a few weeks ago and we are looking forward to working with a new administration. Thank you very much.

    Further information on the Church of Scientology:

    Church of Scientology International European Human Rights Office
    Religious Tolerance: Scientology
    Scientology Effective Solutions
    Scientology Volunteer Ministers
    Beliefs of the Scientology Religion
    Scientology (CESNUR)
    Article on Scientology