Scientologists Seek Legal Status in Bulgaria

Politics | January 31, 2006, Tuesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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The Church of Scientology has moved to seek legal recognition in Bulgaria, a representative of the religious organization has revealed.

Martin Weightman, human rights director of the Church's European office, has revealed that they had already talked to a member of the Bulgarian government.

Weightman told Sofia-based Darik radio that a "good dialogue" has been held, and that the Scientologists were willing to cooperate with the local authorities.

Bulgaria has once turned down a request to register the Church of Scientology, in 1991.

But Weightman said that registration appeal was not made by the Church, but apparently by unidentified supporters.

Now that the legislation has changed, the Church hopes to face no hurdle in the procedure.

The Church of Scientology states that it is an organization that works toward rehabilitating the human spirit by offering an alternative to psychiatry.

The organization has attracted many followers but also plenty of controversy and criticism.

Critics have slammed the Church as a commercial organization exploiting its members. Scientology's principles have been characterized as pseudoscientific by many mainstream medical and psychotherapeutic practitioners, and the Church has frequently been characterized as a cult.
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