We are today at a watershed of history and our actions today will decide whether the world goes up from here or continues to slide into some new dark age,” wrote L. Ron Hubbard in his landmark essay, “Religious Influence in Society.”
He concluded: “If one does not like the crime, cruelty, injustice and violence of this society, he can do something about it,” and he urged Scientologists to “help civilize it, bring it conscience and kindness and love and freedom from travail by instilling into it trust, decency, honesty and tolerance.”
Bringing real help—that is the essence of each church of Scientology everywhere. And today, those Scientology churches, together with associated groups and missions, number 4,500 across 156 nations. The churches of Scientology across Europe—from Paris and Hamburg to Budapest and Stockholm—each comprise the local hub from which social betterment and community activities emanate. There, Scientologists receive spiritual counselling and study the works of L. Ron Hubbard, acquiring helping skills to improve conditions in life for themselves and those around them. The activities of Scientologists throughout the continent, focused and coordinated through the European Public Affairs and Human Rights Office, benefit many civic and national leaders, dignitaries, human rights advocates and citizens who share their aspirations of a bettered culture.
“Scientology brings to this world a recognition and upholding of the truth about ourselves and others (and) holds within its grasp the key towards a better world,” said Oxford professor Ian Hall, president of the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace.
Our Churches are located in all the major centres of the world, spanning six continents, yet many more are needed to meet the demand for what the Scientology religion has to offer. Over the last few years, new and expanded church facilities have opened in major cities such as Madrid, Hamburg, New York, San Francisco and Johannesburg—all dedicated to serving their parishioners and communities.
The Church of Scientology of Milan is one of the largest on the continent. More than 200 staff serve its expanding congregation. When the Church moved in November 2000, it was welcomed to its new quarters by religious and civic leaders, members of city councils and government officials—including the vice president of the Italian Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies—and more than 3,000 cheering Milanese. It has become well known for its drug awareness activities, which include the collection and disposal of syringes discarded by addicts, posing a risk of infection to children.
Churches of Scientology in Germany are equally famous for drug prevention. Many of their parishioners volunteer eight hours a week to this activity, manning booths to distribute literature or answering the phone for the church’s “Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life” Association.
Set in the Sussex countryside in England is one of the advanced churches of Scientology, providing higher levels of Scientology spiritual counselling and training. Here, too, is the church’s British headquarters, which serves as a centre for its outreach programmes and for international human rights conferences.
The church’s European headquarters is located in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is the site of another advanced church of Scientology, ministering to Scientologists in Europe. This facility was vastly expanded in 1995 to meet the growing interest and demand for Scientology across the continent.
Scientology is a fast-growing religion because in our scientific age, when the solutions of former times no longer work, anyone can learn to apply Scientology principles to the problems of living—to a specific and desired result. So when the need arises—and when doesn’t it? —Scientologists can be found actively doing something about it. And not just anything, but something effective.