Russian Supreme Court upholds ban on Church of Scientology Moscow

Moscow - Russia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s ruling to ban the Church of Scientology Moscow, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.

In November, the Moscow City Court granted a motion filed by the Russian Justice Ministry and ordered the liquidation of the branch of the Church of Scientology within six months.

The Justice Ministry found during an audit that the charter of the Church of Scientology Moscow runs counter to the federal law on the freedom of religion, and that the word “Scientology” is a registered trademark of the US Religious Technology Center. Following the audit, the ministry requested that the Moscow City Court outlaw the Church of Scientology Moscow.

The Church of Scientology Moscow appealed against the ruling.

On June 21, the Federal Security Service (FSB) officers conducted searches in Moscow’s and St. Petersburg’s offices of the Church of Scientology in connection with a criminal case launched against members of the St. Petersburg branch of organization suspected of engaging in illegal business activities.

Dianetics and Scientology are a set of religious and philosophical ideas and practices that were put forth by L. Ron Hubbard in the US in the early 1950s.

The scientific community never recognized it as science.

A resolution passed in 1996 by the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, classified the Church of Scientology as a destructive religious organization.

The Moscow Regional Court ruled in 2012 that some of Hubbard’s books be included on the Federal List of Extremist Literature and prohibited from distribution in Russia.