CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF MOSCOW – A BEACON FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND HUMAN RIGHTS
FEBRUARY 26, 2011
Thousands gathered in Moscow to open the first major Church to open in the Russian Federation. The building stands in the city’s central Garden Ring, just a mile from Red Square.
Commemorating this new Scientology Church, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the religion, declared: “It has been said that Russia cannot be understood with the intellect, that it cannot be measured by any common standard and that it can only be believed in. Well, let Russia now believe this: The Church that now stands in Moscow possesses a technology that is all but synonymous with the human spirit. It is a technology to bring forth the goodness in people and the greatness they are destined to achieve. It is a technology that is both kind and strong. It is a technology for freedom and wisdom.”
The new Moscow Church not only meets the needs of its growing congregation of Scientologists, but also serves as the center for all faiths to unite in the name of religious freedom.
The Church of Scientology of Moscow already stands at the forefront of Russia’s greater human rights movement. It works in coordination with the internationally renowned Moscow Helsinki Group, founded by Ms. Lyudmila Alexeyeva. Ms. Alexeyeva is one of the original Soviet era dissidents to decry communist oppression. She is also the recipient of the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. On the occasion of the Moscow Church opening, Ms. Alexeyeva stated: “For me, as a human rights advocate, all religions are equal in their rights. Your Church is particularly devoted to defending the freedom of belief not only for its own parishioners but for all religious people of any denomination.”
The Church’s religious freedom victories are now legend. Scientology’s landmark decisions before the European Court of Human Rights set the standard for religious rights in all 47 member states. In recognition of what this new Church of Scientology represents to religious freedom, Mr. Boris Nikolayevich Panteleyev from the Russian Federation’s Public Chamber stated: “Scientologists work to see that all have the right to thought, to practice religion and to rejoice. You work to see that all people have the right to assemble, the right to establish and support their own churches and organizations; that they have the freedom to think for themselves and to the expression of their thoughts and ideas. These freedoms are the very manifestation of the individual spirit. So it is important that we rejoice today, for this is a glorious day in the name of freedom for all of Russia.”
Scientology’s Drug Free World initiative is but one of the Church programs now adopted by citizens of the Russian Federation. Among its foremost advocates is Dr. Victor Ivanovich Cherepkov, two-term State Duma Deputy, who said: “The drug industry has taken its toll on Russians for years. Until recently we had no solution that could prevent the problem. Your drug education is well recognized in Russia. We are already using your literature and your methods in the fight against drugs. In fact, these are widely disseminated throughout Russia. And it’s spreading for one reason only: it simply is working everywhere and anywhere.”
With the new Church of Scientology of Moscow, so begins the next historic chapter for Scientology. It is a chapter that not only signifies a renaissance for the religion itself, but a new era for religious and human rights in Russia.