USCIRF 2019 Report mentions Scientology


Patron Meritorious
On April 29, 2019, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2019 Annual Report.

Excerpts concerning Scientology in Russia:
During 2018, Russia accelerated the repressive behavior that led USCIRF to recommend its designation as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, for the first time in 2017. The government continued to target “nontraditional” religious minorities with fines, detentions, and criminal charges under the pretext of combating extremism. Russian legislation targets “extremism” without adequately defining the term, enabling the state to prosecute a vast range of nonviolent, nonpolitical religious activity. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, whom the government banned outright in 2017, faced severe persecution by the state. By the end of the reporting period, hundreds of members remained in detention, had travel restrictions imposed, or were under investigation, and church property estimated at $90 million had been confiscated. The leadership of the St. Petersburg Church of Scientology remained under house arrest, while numerous adherents of the Islamic missionary movement Tablighi Jamaat and readers of the works of Turkish theologian Said Nursi were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for peaceful religious expression.
In 2018, the U.S. government increased pressure on Russia over its violations of religious freedom. On June 18, the State Department announced it was “deeply concerned” about the growing number of religious prisoners in Russia, specifically mentioning Mr. Christensen*, the St. Petersburg Church of Scientology leadership, and followers of Said Nursi.
*On May 25, 2017, Danish citizen Dennis Christensen was arrested at a peaceful meeting of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Oryol, about 200 miles south of Moscow.
The Church of Scientology
The Church of Scientology was designated a “destructive” group by the Russian legislature in 1996. Although never banned outright, the church has been hindered by Russia’s strict registration laws. Despite attempting to register as a religion on 12 separate occasions, they were denied each time because of supposed administrative technicalities. On June 6, 2017, Russian police raided the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg as well as the homes of all five leaders of the group, who were arrested on charges of “illegal business operations” and extremism. During 2018, the three female leaders remained under house arrest or restricted freedom regimes while the two male leaders, Sakhib Aliev and Ivan Matsitsky, remained in prison. According to a complaint filed by Matsitsky’s lawyer, his client suffered inhumane conditions while in custody. This included being placed in solitary confinement for 10 days and being forced to share his cell with a convicted murderer who systematically threatened him, pressured him to confess, and tormented him by refusing to close the window in the middle of winter. Although conditions have subsequently improved, Matsitsky remained in pretrial for an indeterminate period and was rarely able to visit with his wife and family. USCIRF advocates on behalf of Matsitsky as part of its Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project.
Regarding Kazakhstan:
In October 2018, Kazakhstan hosted the Sixth Congress, devoted to “Overcoming Extremism and Terrorism,” which was attended by 80 delegates from 46 countries. Representatives from religious groups that the government of Kazakhstan considered “extremist” were notably absent—such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Scientology, the Union of Evangelical Baptists, and Tablighi Jamaat.
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Diamond Invictus SP
The Church of Scientology was designated a “destructive” group by the Russian legislature in 1996.
While I don't agree with all the tactics used by the Russian government, they clearly nailed it back in 1996 when designating the CoS a "destructive group".

CoS IS destructive and every government on Earth that wishes to protect their people should take action to restrain the CoS from committing marketing fraud or abusing and exploiting their own members.

No organization should be allowed to use fraudulent methods to recruit new members and/or destroy families which are the building block of any society.

No legitimate religious organization withholds its true beliefs until you hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nor do they fraudulently tell new members that their beliefs are compatible with other religions when that's absolute bullshit.

Why any commission in the U.S. (governmental or otherwise) would seek to protect an organization which has a criminal history here in this country, infiltrating many government offices as well as other criminal acts without also seeking to protect society FROM this same organization is a mystery to me.