Moscow, July 1, 2016
The Russian Orthodox Church has welcomed a ruling by the
Russian Supreme Court which yesterday upheld the legality
of a shutdown of the “Church of Scientology of
“The upholding by the Supreme Court of the legality
of the shutdown of the so-called Church of Scientology is
seen as an important precedent demonstrating the
state’s determination not to recognize as religious
those organizations that use people’s religious
feelings for malignant purposes,” Russian Orthodox
Church spokesman Vakhtang Kipshidze told
The ruling in the Scientologists’ case is not a breach
of religious freedom since “it was proved in court
that the very activity of this organization is an affront
to human freedom as such,” Kipshidze said.
The Russian Orthodox Church regularly comes into contact
with people whose membership in totalitarian sects left
them deeply wounded spiritually and mentally, and ruined
their lives and happiness, the spokesman said. “This
is why we see the decision against Scientology as one that
is directed at protecting the freedom and dignity of
Russian citizens,” Kipshidze said.
On June 29 the Russian Supreme Court issued a definitive
ruling upholding the shutdown of the “Church of
Scientology of Moscow” for incompliance with the
requirements for a religious organization.
The lower court held that the activity of the religious
organization was rather of a social and for-profit nature,
which is inconsistent with the objectives of a religious
organization. “Meanwhile, the organization receives
unjustified tax preferences from the state,”
according to the case files.