50 Hungarian police officers raided the Church of Scientology in Budapest, in an apparent international crime investigation into the organization.
Scientology spokeswoman Ms Karin Pouw says this was a clear case of “religious suppression under the guise of data protection,” whilst the raid was described as “an outrageous and wholesale violation of the human rights of all Scientologists in the country.”
“These actions are guided by the discriminatory and hostile purposes of data protection officials who are using the law not as a shield to safeguard others, but as a sword to violate the rights of Scientology parishioners.”
This seems as strange statement to make in a country like Hungary of course, which is highly religious.
Hungary, just as neighbors Bulgaria and Romania, is of Christian Orthodox belief mostly, and some 90% of the population go to church mass at least once a week
But, Hungary does not even recognize the Church of Scientology as an official religion, even though 32 other belief systems are.
Then again, scandal and persecution are nothing new for the so-called Church of Scientology, with the scandals mounting ever wider.
Just in Europe, the list is already quite long.
Spain arrested ten members of the local Church of Scientology in 1988 for charges that included illicit association, coercion, fraud, and labor law violations
France has officially stated that Scientology is a ‘dangerous cult’ and convicted several of its members for embezzlement in 2001.
Belgium has convicted several member of their local Scientology church in 2008 the unlawful exercise of medicine and fraud.
The United Kingdom accused the church of "grooming" City of London Police officers with monetary gifts.
And of course, we were all reminded of the evil spells of the Church this year when it became known that Mr Tom Cruise, the most famous member of Scientology, had banned his ex-wife, Ms Katie Holmes from having a public relationship for the past five years under the strict terms of their divorce. She finally admitted this year that she had been dating Mr Jamie Foxx for a while now.