The government of Holland has now acknowledged the religious nature of Scientology, thereby joining the expanding list of nations officially recognizing the spiritual bona fides of the only major religion to emerge in the 20th century.
Holland’s own bona fides when it comes to religious freedom and human rights are well in order. The Netherlands is home to the UN International Court of Justice at the Hague and is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18 of which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”
The nation also has equal rights for all embedded in its national constitution, which reads: “Everyone shall have the right to profess freely his religion or belief, either individually or in community with others, without prejudice to his responsibility under the law.”
Practicing what it preaches when it comes to religious freedom, Holland has pushed back against a rising tide of antisemitism and Islamophobia with tighter laws enforcing the constitutional rights of its people. April 2021 saw the appointment of Holland’s first National Coordinator for Countering Antisemitism and, last September, Netherlands Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus announced Holocaust denial would become a punishable offense. Meanwhile local and national security officials continue to work with Jewish and Muslim communities to increase security at houses of worship.
Against the backdrop of Holland’s deepening commitment to freedom of faith, recognition of Scientology as a religion was inevitable.
Millions of Scientologists in more than 150 countries celebrate this latest recognition as another victory for religious freedom.
This blog was originally published on the website of STAND (Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination).
From its beginnings, the Church of Scientology has recognized that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.
The Church publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.