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Russia & the CIS - Scientology

Scientologists Sent Packing from Beslan — Police
("MosNews," October 22, 2004)

At least 20 Scientologists will be forced to leave a region in southern Russia surrounding Beslan Friday, where over 330 people were killed in a three-day hostage drama in September, the Interior Ministry announced.

Regional police summoned 22 Scientologists Thursday, informing them that they were forbidden to offer their religious and psychological services in the region, and that they must leave the region within 24 hours.

The Interior Ministry agreed to an earlier request from the regional Health Ministry for help in shutting down the activities of such “sects” as the Church of Scientology in the republic of North Ossetia, and in particular in Beslan, the Interfax news agency reported.

The ministry believed that the church’s activities — which include psychological “auditing” and rejection of traditional psychology — were dangerous for the children, who were still traumatized after the terrorist attack on their school.

Moreover, the Ministry of Justice discovered that the Church of Scientology is not registered as a religious organization, and its representatives are not licensed to act as spiritual aides or psychologists, the news agency reported, citing the regional Interior Ministry spokesman, Ismel Shaov.

The Church of Scientology, however, says that it was registered in Russia in 1994.