Scientology, celebrating 43 years rooted in Spain

Scientology, celebrating 43 years rooted in Spain
In September 2004, the National Church of Scientology opened in the heart of Madrid, with 6,000 assembling to celebrate the new Church. © 2023 Church of Scientology International. All Rights Reserved.

Fully recognized in Spain as a religion, and its Foundation Mejora as a force for good by the UN ECOSOC, Scientologists celebrate their anniversary.

MADRID, MADRID, SPAIN, September 21, 2023 / — In the heart of Europe amidst the cultures and beliefs that weave together, the Church of Scientology in Spain commemorates its 43rd anniversary since the first corporation was established in the country, even though as reported by historian of religion Prof. Diez de Velasco, it was L. Ron Hubbard (its founder) who sailed in Spanish waters of the canary islands with a group of dedicated Scientologists with whom created the religious order denominated the “Sea Organization” completing in this way the ingredients of what a religious movement is. 

This significant milestone represents over four decades of progress, spiritual exploration and active involvement within the community. Understanding the role played by the Church of Scientology in the lives of its members calls for a closer examination of its history and impact on Spain, and it is in this light that the Spain’s government Foundation Pluralism and Coexistence, included the 18th September in the calendar of religious holidays. That is the date in which Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the religion, cut the ribbon of the church that opened its new premises 150 meters away from the Spanish Parliament.

The Emergence of Scientology in Spain

Established by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s the Church of Scientology made its presence known in Spain back in in the lates 60ies. However it wasn’t until 1980 that the first church was established in a public registry. “This coincided with a period marked by social transformation following Franco’s regime ending and Spain’s gradual transition to democracy and walking it way to religious freedom for all, bit by bit” says Ivan Arjona, Scientology representative for Spain, European institutions and the United Nations. “With an atmosphere embracing openness and freedom, Scientology found fertile ground to establish itself and increase the help being given to the society”.

Since its founding the core mission of the Church has remained, according to its officials, steadfast—to aid individuals in discovering their spiritual essence and untapped potential. The teachings, as an array of experts on religion have found, focus on growth, spiritual development and ethical living—”values that have resonated deeply with countless individuals, throughout Spain over time” says Arjona.

Establishing a Solid Foundation

To truly grasp the significance of the Church of Scientology’s 43 year presence in Spain it is crucial to examine the organizations contributions to the community. Right from its beginnings the Church of Scientology has made outreach and community engagement a top priority. Its local executives explain that “this unwavering dedication to making an impact has led to numerous initiatives and programs that address the social challenges Spain faces, and we will continue to work on it as long as it is needed and beyond”. To ensure this social aspect has a constant and consistent continuation, the church of Scientology of Spain established in 2015 its first Foundation, which implies its aims being recognized by the state as public benefit, by the name of Foundation for the Improvement of Life, Culture and Society, which in as early as 2019, received approval from the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and became accredited with Special Consultative Status to the UN. 

Promoting Drug Education and Prevention

One remarkable contribution by the Church and its members is its commitment to drug rehabilitation as well as education and prevention programs. Like many other countries Spain has grappled with drug related issues over time. “The Church of Scientology actively engages in educating people and their families about the perils of substance abuse through campaigns like “The Truth About Drugs, and there are many Scientologists in our country who have dedicated and dedicate many years of their life to help people to effectively rehabilitate from this dangerous addictions,” added Arjona.

Advocating for Human Rights

The Church of Scientology has also emerged as an advocate for human rights within Spain. Their efforts encompass raising awareness about human rights violations supporting initiatives that safeguard freedom and fostering tolerance and understanding among diverse religious and cultural communities. However the biggest efforts from Scientologists on this field, is dedicated to teach children and young adults about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “because if don’t teach our children today about this, in 20 years the situation in the world will be even worst; we have to stop the increase of violations of rights, and the discrimination at large, to create a positive effect” comments Arjona when asked about this campaign which he himself has brought numerous times to the UN in Geneva.

Emphasizing Literacy and Education

The Church’s devotion to education is evident through programs such as Study Technology that aim to enhance literacy levels and facilitate learning. These initiatives have successfully empowered individuals in Spain with essential skills for personal growth as well, as professional advancement, “recovering people who were lost in their studies and whose parents and previous teachers did not know how else they could help them” said one of the volunteers.

Spiritual. Personal Development

At the core of the Church of Scientology’s mission lies a focus on spiritual growth and personal development. “Scientology provides an array of courses, workshops and counseling services aimed at assisting individuals in attaining greater self-awareness and spiritual fulfillment” says Ivan Arjona. “These offerings have played a role in transforming the lives of many Spaniards who have sought out spiritual guidance and personal growth through Scientology” informed a parishioner.

The practices advocated by Scientology emphasize the importance of comprehending one’s nature striving towards personal goals and leading a life that aligns with ethical principles. Thousands of individuals in Spain have discovered these teachings to be a source of inspiration and guidance throughout their spiritual journeys.

As the Church of Scientology in Spain commemorates its anniversary it’s evident that this organization has made a significant impact on Spain’s spiritual and cultural landscape, with its teachings and won battles being taught as practical lessons in numerous Law faculties of the country. “I am very happy of how Scientology continues to grow stronger in a society that needs still more freedoms and responsibilities. Our commitment to community involvement, advocacy for rights and personal growth has positively affected numerous individuals throughout the years, and I have seen this with my own eyes, and heard the emotional stories of the relatives of those whose life have been saved,” concludes Arjona.

While Scientology continues to be a topic of debate and controversy its members in Spain continue to find purpose, meaning and spiritual enlightenment through their association with the Church. Looking ahead into the future it will undoubtedly continue playing a role in shaping the lives of those who seek its teachings and guidance.

By celebrating 43 years of existence in Spain, the Church of Scientology serves as a reminder of both faith’s enduring power and humanity’s ongoing pursuit, for comprehension.

ScientologyEU Newsroom

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