Scientology Officially a Religion, According to U.K. Supreme Court

Group could now claim huge tax breaks

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Supreme Court Justices process from the Supreme Court to Westminster Abbey on October 1, 2013 in London, England.

U.K.’s Supreme Court has officially recognized Scientology as a religion, potentially opening up a way for the group to claim lucrative tax breaks, among other legal privileges.

The Wednesday ruling marked the end of a five-year legal struggle by a woman fighting for her right to get married in a Church of Scientology chapel, Reuters reports.

Officials had originally refused her request based on a 1970 court ruling stating that Scientology does not involve “reverence or veneration of God or of a Supreme Being,” an assertion the Supreme Court now has found out-of-date.

“Religion should not be confined to religions which recognize a supreme deity,” wrote Lord Toulson while giving the judgment.



Scientology’s bona fides have been officially recognized by a number of governmental agencies and public authorities in the United Kingdom. These include: The Ministry of Defence, which has officially recognized the Scientology religion in the Royal Navy (1996). HM Customs and Excise, which classifies the Church as a religious organization (2001). Inland Revenue, which ruled that Church staff serve out of a religious commitment rather than financial award (2001).

In 2009 The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that anyone who attacks Scientology can be prosecuted under faith hate laws. It means that any alleged offenders who ‘abuse’ or ‘threaten’ the Church of Scientology can be charged under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.