The Congregational Services of The Church of Scientology

By Bryan Ronald Wilson, Reader Emeritus in Sociology, University of Oxford

SYNOPSIS:

In this legal statement from 2002, Professor Bryan Ronald Wilson evaluates whether the Church of Scientology’s congregational services merit the label of religious worship and compares them with other traditions. He concludes that Scientology services constitute worship but points out that worship in the Judeo-Christian sense of that term is not universally present in all religions, such as Buddhism and Unitarian Universalism. As Dr. Wilson writes: “Given that Scientologists do believe in a Supreme Being and that their congregational services include expressions of reverence and respect for that Supreme Being, and seek that Supreme Being’s intercession through prayer, I conclude that Scientology services today do meet the narrow criteria for religious worship…even if the services of some major, universally accepted religious denominations do not meet these criteria.” Churches of Scientology offer Sunday services, as well as Dianetics, and Scientology services seven days a week, at locations in countries all over the world.

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