The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece Synodical Committee on Sects

Scientology Is Not a Religion

Ecclesia News/February 2, 2003

Athens -- The Greek Minister of Education and Religious Affairs with his decision number A3-88/17.10.2000 had rejected the "Greek Church of Scientology's" request for permission to operate a house of prayer, on the basis that it does not constitute a church. The Minister's decision was based on a number of decisions of institutions abroad, as well as on the number 7380/1996 decision of the Court of First instance of Athens and the number 10493/1997 decision of the Athenian Court of Appeal, which ordered the closing down of the Center of Applied Philosophy of Greece ("Kentro Efirmosmenis Filosofias Elladas" ) -a previous name of Scientology in Greece- due to a series of illegal actions. The latter decision among other things, states: "it is an organization with totalitarian structures and tendencies, which in essence despises man, though it deceivingly acts freely in order and eclusively to attract members who in turn undergo... brain washing, so as to render their way of thought controllable... and which some years ago engaged in illegal profit making..." (decision of the Athenian Court of Appeal, 1997).

The Scientologists appealed to the Council of State ("Symvoulio tis Epikratias" ) for the annulment of the decision of the Minister. In this lawsuit the Holy Archdiocese of Athens (Orthodox Church of Greece) intervened against the Scientologists. Thus, although the courtcase was scheduled for the 6th of December 2002, the Scientologists withdrew their appeal. In consequence, the decision of the Greek State is now permanent and irrevocable. [It must be noted that the proposal of the Court Reporter of the Council of State was rejective of the Scientologists' request to establish a church. This is what, in combination with the obvious unreliability and falsehood of their arguments, led the Scientologists to their above decision].

The Court Reporter's proposal, using specific facts, proves that Scientology does not constitute a religion and that it is not recognized as such in most countries, among which are the U.S.A., England, France and Germany. It also proves that Scientology has often developed illegal activities in the countries in which it is active, and is therefore classified among dangerous and antisocial organizations.

It is proven that the Intervention of the Orthodox Church of Greece to the Council of State supporting the decision of the Greek Minister of Education and Religious Affairs was absolutely helpful. The Church contributed decisively to this important historical decision by offering valuable facts to the highest court of Greece.

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