Scientology Now a Religion in UK

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has ruled that Scientology is a religion. The Supreme Court was considering a case brought by Louisa Hodkin, whose request to get married at the Church of Scientology in London had been denied by the Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, the government agency that register marriages. In its ruling, the Supreme Court effectively redefined the legal definition of “religion” in the UK.

“In their unanimous decision, the Supreme Court justices said that the 1970 ruling’s definition of religious worship as involving ‘reverence or veneration of God or of a supreme being’ was out of date,” according to the BBC.

Lord Toulson, one of the Supreme Court judges, stated that “Religion should not be confined to religions which recognise a supreme deity.” He argued that “to do so would be a form of religious discrimination unacceptable in today’s society.”

The BBC reports on the case. The UK Supreme Court’s finding is available at its website.



This entry was posted in Christianity and Religious Violence, Comparative Religious Studies, Concept of Religion, Protestantism and Religious Violence, Religious Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Scientology Now a Religion in UK

  1. 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).

    The City of Westminster Finance Department, which holds that the Church of Scientology qualifies as a charity “with purposes beneficial to the community.” The City of London Head of Revenues has recognized the Church as “an organization established for charitable purposes only” and entitled to property tax exemption. The General Register Office in Scotland has authorized a Scientology minister to solemnize marriages as a minister of religion.

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