Are there any laws against the practice of Scientology?
No. While the Church of Scientology had to fight many legal battles in its formative years and its parishioners endured systematic official acts of religious discrimination in some countries, it is not now and never has been banned in any nation.
In the 1960s, three Australian states enacted repressive legislation that essentially made it a crime to practice Scientology in those states. Once the false allegations against the religion were repudiated, these discriminatory laws became an embarrassment to the Australian government. Indeed, a former Australian senator and deputy premier of Western Australia traveled to the United States in 1976 to attend the Churches of Scientology International Prayer Day, whereupon he apologized to all members of the Church, describing the discriminatory legislation as the “blackest day in the political history of Western Australia.” Subsequently, Scientology was fully recognized by the Australian High Court, which came to the “irresistible” conclusion that Scientology is a religion. Today, that landmark decision forms the basis for determining what is a religion in courts and governments throughout the Commonwealth.
Thus, Scientology operates freely world over and has received hundreds upon hundreds of religious recognitions from courts and government administrative bodies. In fact, the Church of Scientology has been formally recognized as a religion in the following nations: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Philippines, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, United States, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
The Church of Scientology is further distinguished as a religion for the fact that:
On April 5, 2007, a landmark decision rendered by the European Court of Human Rights found Scientology constitutes a religious community entitled to be registered as a religious organization, enunciating a principle binding on all 47 Member States comprising the Council of Europe.
On September 18, 2007, the Church of Scientology of Portugal was officially recognized as a religious organization under that country’s new religious registration law.
And on December 3, 2007, the South African Revenue Service granted the Church of Scientology the status of a Public Benefit Organization as a religious entity with full tax exemption.
There is substantially more:
Spain is a land where Scientology battled for decades against official persecution and discrimination before gaining full vindication and religious recognition. In October 2007, the National Court in Madrid affirmed the rights of Scientology parishioners and Church organizations to religious freedom in Spain. The Church of Scientology was then officially entered in the National Register of Religions of Spain in December 2007.
Today, while there still remain remnants of discrimination, nowhere is Scientology prohibited from practicing its faith. Moreover, even where religious intolerance still lingers, the bigoted acts of governmental officials must be placed in context. For the fact is, Scientology is growing at a rate unprecedented for any religion in modern times and while a few governments may try to impede it, the people certainly are not.