What is Scientology?

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Why is Scientology a church?

The word church comes from the Greek word kyrios meaning “lord” and the Indo-European base kewe, “to be strong.” Current meanings of the word include “a congregation,” “ecclesiastical power as distinguished from the secular” and “the clerical profession; clergy.”

The word church is not only used by Christian organizations. There were churches ten thousand years before there were Christians, and Christianity itself was a revolt against the established church. In modern usage, people speak of the Buddhist or Muslim church, referring in general to the whole body of believers in a particular religious teaching.

A church is simply a congregation of people who participate in common religious activities. Church is also used to refer to the building where members of a religious group gather to practice their religion and attain greater spiritual awareness and well-being.

In the 1950s, Scientologists recognized that L. Ron Hubbard’s technology and its results dealt directly with the freeing of the human spirit, and that greater spiritual awareness was routinely being achieved. There was no question in their minds that what they were dealing with was a religious practice; thus, in the early 1950s, they voted that a church be formed to better serve the spiritual needs of themselves and others who shared their belief. The first Church of Scientology was then incorporated in 1954.

Thus, Scientology is a religion and the use of the word church when referring to Scientology is correct.


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