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Swedish religious freedom law and Scientology’s recognition mark 24 years

In the cities of Stockholm, Goteborg and Malmo members of the Scientology community came together to commemorate a milestone in their history, the registration as a religious community in March 2000. After 24 years since its recognition, it prompts us to ponder on the path that led them to this remarkable event.

Brussels, Brussels, Belgium, 18th Mar 2024 – In the cities of Stockholm, Goteborg and Malmö members of the Scientology community came together to commemorate a milestone in their history, the registration as a religious community in March 2000. After 24 years since its recognition, it prompts us to ponder on the path that led them to this remarkable event.

Swedish religious freedom law and Scientology’s recognition mark 24 years

On March 13, 2000, the Swedish government made an affirmative move by officially recognizing the Church of Scientology as a religion within the country. This decision represented the culmination of efforts to ensure that Scientology received equal rights and status alongside other religious groups in the nation. It was not only a moment for Scientologists in Sweden but also had broader implications for religious freedom and inclusivity worldwide as other countries in Europe followed in improving the recognition of this fundamental right, like Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Netherlands and even decisions by the European Court of Human Rights.

The foundation of liberty in Sweden runs deep with laws protecting freedom of religion established back in 1951 and subsequently enshrined in the Swedish Constitution and later improved further with the law of separation of church and state in that came into effect on January 1, 2000, making it a significant legislative change. This legal framework guarantees individuals the right to practice their faith privately or collectively without facing discrimination or restrictions based on their beliefs. It was against this backdrop of openness and legal safeguards that the Church of Scientology pursued recognition, within society.

The development of laws concerning freedom in Sweden reflects the nations’ dedication to human rights and individual liberties. Initially dominated by the National Church, Sweden has now adopted an inclusive approach that acknowledges and respects the diverse range of religious beliefs within its borders. The 2000 law further solidified this foundation, ensuring that all religious groups are treated equally and have the right to practice their faith, worship and organize under law.

The journey toward recognition began when the Stockholm tax office granted tax-exempt status to the Church of Scientology as a recognized religious organization on November 23, 1999. This acknowledgment highlighted the religious activities of the Church such as Sunday Services ceremonies, weddings, funerals, and spiritual counselling sessions as well as studying the sacred teachings written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Encouraged by this progress, the Church of Scientology sought registration as a recognized religious community. The Church of Scientology Sweden was officially registered as a community by the Kammarkollegiet on March 13, 2000, making it a double important occasion, as it marks the celebration of the birthday of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Scientology religion. This registration not only confirmed the Church’s status as a legitimate belief group but also opened doors for future acknowledgments, including the authorization to conduct marriages according to the Marriage Act.

The initial Scientology Church in Sweden was established in Gothenburg in 1968, marking the commencement of Scientology’s presence in the nation. Over time, the Church has grown into a religious community that not only serves its members. It also contributes to Swedish society with educational programs on human rights, drug prevention, moral values and helping when natural disasters arise. It is active in interreligious dialogue and cooperation. The Church of Scientology Malmö was designated as the first Ideal Scientology Church in Sweden in 2009, serving as a center for spiritual growth and community welfare.

Today, Scientology is acknowledged worldwide as a religion, with millions of followers practicing their beliefs globally. In Sweden, the 24th anniversary of recognition by the government highlights the enduring values of religious freedom and underscores the Church’s dedication to meeting the spiritual needs of society.

For more information on the recognition of Scientology as a religion, go to www.scientologyreligion.org. For those wishing to learn more about the beliefs and practices of Scientology and its international humanitarian projects, go to www.Scientology.tv. 

Media Contact

Organization: European Office Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights

Contact Person: Ivan Arjona

Website: https://www.europeanaffairs.eu

Email: Send Email

Address: Boulevard de Waterloo 103

City: Brussels

State: Brussels

Country: Belgium

Release Id: 18032410514

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