12 December 2013, 10:50

UK finally recognizes Scientology as religion

UK finally recognizes Scientology as religion

Scientology is now being acknowledged as an official religion in Britain. The highest courts of the land kicked to the gutter a 158-year-old law. It has now been ruled that worshipping a god is not a necessity for a religion. In fact, a total of five justices from the Supreme Court amended the definition of religion in law so that scientologists are able to have weddings.

The judgment did not come out of nowhere, as a half a decade battle from 25-year-old scientologist Louisa Hodkin had to fight for her right to get officially married in the Church of Scientology located in London. Hodkin and her fiancé, who were present at court to hear the final verdict, celebrated the victory for the freedom to worship as they would like to.

Hodkin was blocked from being able to get married at her chapel because the nation did not see this as a place of worship. That very decision came from a court case back in 1970 which did not include Scientology because it was not in line with the 1855 Place of Worship Registration Act, where only religions which honor a god were considered a valid religion. Still, it is notable to point out that Buddhist temples were considered an exception to that initial act.

Although the most recent legal challenge Hodkin presented was to a justice of the High Court one year ago and pushed away, her case was passed to the Supreme Court to look into the law with finer detail. The ruling was finally decided on, claiming that exclusion of those who do not worship a god or many gods leads to discrimination.

“Unless there is some compelling contextual reason for holding otherwise, religion should not be confined to religions which recognize a supreme deity,” said Lord Toulson, delivering the lead judgment. Upon hearing the ruling, Hodkin seemed quite satisfied. “My fiancé and I have always believed in the fairness of the British legal process,” she said.

Voice of Russia, National Post

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