In response to your article entitled "French court convicts Scientology of organized fraud" on October 28, 2009. We are blessed to live in a country that embraces the multifaith nature of our rich Canadian society.
We pride ourselves on building a pluralistic world of peace, understanding and acceptance of different religions, all united in a common goal of freedom and peace. Such does not exist around the world, and particularly in France, where the Prime Minister's Office has set up a ministry specifically to promote the removal of new religious movements.
When I heard about this case, I was happy to note that the Court in France refused to bow to extremist pressure and cited the sincere religious conviction of Scientologists in France as a reason for refusing to take the draconian measures asked for by the prosecutor. He also cited the fact that for more than a decade no complaints against the Church existed.
The October 27th ruling in fact guarantees that Scientologists in France are free to practice their religion. The Church will therefore continue to expand worldwide.
In fact, in the past two weeks, two new churches -- one in Rome on October 24th and one in Washington on October 31 were opened to much fanfare and excitement. And earlier this year three other new churches celebrated their openings in Sweden, Tenessee and Texas.
Rev. Pat Felske
Church of Scientology of Toronto