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Does the Church engage in interfaith affairs?
Absolutely. The Church is a strong advocate of the interfaith approach on issues important to all religions. Scientologists work with representatives of many religions to support and encourage interreligious dialogue, religious freedom, constitutional law and respect for religion in society.
Scientologists have fought actively for religious freedom in Europe. In Strasbourg, France, 2,500 Scientologists proclaimed a “Declaration of Religious Freedom” which was subsequently accepted by the Council of Europe. In Denmark, Scientologists are active members of the Danish Interfaith Forum, an outspoken voice for religious freedom in that country.
In Belgium, the Church of Scientology played a key role in establishing the ecumenical European Council of Religious Movements whose members represent their respective churches and religions in dealing with issues of religious freedom.
To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Church organized the “European Journey for Religious Freedom.” News of this 3,225 kilometer marathon through eight countries reached an estimated 33 million people, raising public awareness of the importance of human rights. In many countries of the world, the Church has brought together diverse religions to speak out against intolerance.
And to further bring the message of human rights to Europe, the Church launched the European Marathon for Human Rights—4,500 kilometers through seven countries in 13 weeks. The team of runners carried a Proclamation to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and as they traveled through new cities, the runners invited others to show their support by signing the Proclamation. Soon, the document was covered with thousands of signatures from mayors, city council members, parliamentarians, police commanders, Olympic athletes, famous musicians, leading artists and religious leaders from throughout Europe.
In the United States, the Church has been involved for many years in actions to protect religious liberty and is active in the American Conference on Religious Movements. This multi-denominational association of religious organizations is dedicated to the advancement of religious liberty and dialogue.
In 1991, Scientologists supported passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law on November 16, 1993. The Church of Scientology International was an active member of the Coalition for the Free Exercise of Religion, a broad-based religious and civil liberties group that strenuously worked for passage of the act.
The Church has continued to expose and defuse assaults on religious freedom from organizations which support “deprogramming,” the violent practice of paying kidnappers to try and break an individual’s faith through such tactics as forcible restraint, food or sleep deprivation, beating, drugs and even rape.
Over the years, deprogrammers have attacked members of many different religions, including Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, Mormons and Moslems. As a result of coordinated interfaith actions, deprogrammers have been arrested, convicted and jailed for their role in such illegal activities.
What does Scientology do to protect the environment?