Today’s story on the IOL.co.za web site is great news for Scientology and South African Scientologists:
A tax exemption has been awarded to the SA Church of Scientology by the SA Revenue Services (SARS), the Church said on Tuesday.
“We are ecstatic, this is a memorable and historic day for us as it provides us with an even better opportunity to serve our community and scientologists,” said President of the Church, Ryan Hogarth.
He said that SARS issued the Church with a certificate on Monday approving its status as a ‘Public Benefit Organisation’.
“This was after 42 years and 26 applications to the South African Revenue Service,” Hogarth said.
He said the approval followed similar recognition in countries such as Sweden, Germany, Spain, and New Zealand, as well the European Court of Human Rights.”
My two cents: Although South Africa was one of the earliest Scientology communities, it obviously couldn’t get recognized as a religion under the oppressive apartheid government. But since the rebirth of the new South Africa the Church has been working closely with civic and government groups as well as the private sector to help people all over the country, especially with their Volunteer Ministers program.
Several years ago Mr. David Miscavige dedicated the new Scientology church in Johannesburg and that launched a major expansion for the Church in that country and throughout Southern Africa.
Great news on the Scientology Press Office web site today. Scientologists in Spain have finally been given their freedom of religion in that country.
Today, the National Court in Madrid issued a landmark decision affirming the right to religious freedom in Spain by recognizing that the National Church of Scientology of Spain should be entered in the Registry of Religious Entities.
“This recognition marks the end of an era in which Spanish Scientologists were forced to fight for their rights to religious freedom. It vindicates the Church of Scientology and is a new beginning for all Spanish Scientologists,” said Ivan Arjona, spokesperson for the National Church of Scientology in Spain.
The National Court thoroughly examined the Church’s formative documents and aims and purposes to unequivocally determine that the National Church of Scientology of Spain has the right to be registered as a religion under Spanish law.
I remember when the Spanish case began in the late 1980’s and was so happy when we won the case a few years back and then we opened the Church of Scientology of Spain in Madrid to celebrate, but this is the best news yet!
Recognizing the urgent need for fresh perspective and blood in the race for the presidency, and with an eye to what personalities have made the most impact on American culture in the past half-century, Dem leaders have approached Larry Page with the request that he enter the presidential race.
Dismissing his lack of political experience, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated “This is the guy who really runs the State of California, truth be told.”
“We’ve got to stop this,” said GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani. “He dominates Google and we’ll never get our say if we have to fight against him.”
A behind-the-scenes push for a constitutional amendment to allow naturalized citizens to run for the vice presidency was launched to permit Sergey Brin to be Page’s running mate but this was quashed yesterday due to it’s potential for permitting a Schwarzenegger candidacy.
Page and Brin have declined to comment, being too sloshed from the celebration of Google’s 9th birthday.