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Russia declares teams linked to Church of Scientology as ‘undesirable’

(RNS) — Russia has designated two California-based organizations linked to the Church of Scientology as “undesirable,” a transfer that might formally ban the group.

The Prosecutor General’s Office on Friday (Sept. 24) stated the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises Worldwide and the Church of Religious Know-how “pose a risk to the safety of the Russian Federation.”

The problem will now be taken up by the Ministry of Justice, which, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, might outlaw the teams underneath legal guidelines governing “undesirable” international nongovernmental organizations.

RELATED: Poll: Most Americans don’t think Scientology is a religion

Russian authorities lately have gone after the Church of Scientology, ordering the closure of the group’s Moscow department, according to news reports. The Justice Ministry has additionally declared among the group’s literature extremist, Reuters reported.

The federal government has barred greater than 30 teams underneath a 2015 legislation that made membership in “undesirable” organizations a prison offense, the Associated Press reported. In 2017, Russia dominated the non secular group Jehovah’s Witnesses as “extremist” and has since sentenced 14 adherents to 6 or extra years of jail.

Scientology was established in 1952 by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction creator, and the Church of Scientology has been acknowledged as a faith in the USA since 1993. Scientology is thought for its superstar followers, reminiscent of actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

The church has claimed it has 8 million members worldwide, with a few third of these within the U.S., however many critics have suggested there are between 25,000 and 55,000 energetic Scientologists.

RELATED: HBO’s ‘Going Clear’ leaves future of Scientology unclear

On Netflix, a docuseries hosted by actress Leah Remini options former Scientology members who share alleged accounts of abuse and harassment by the church.

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