ECHR ruled Russia violated Scientologists' religious freedom

On October 1, 2009, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Russia interfered with the freedom of religion by refusing to register two Scientology groups as "religious organizations." Russian authorities had rejected attempts by Scientology branches in Surgut and Nizhnekamsk to register because they had not existed for 15 years, as required under Russian law. The ECHR found that Russia's interference did not "serve a legitimate aim" and was not "necessary in a democratic society" because the applicants did not intend to engage in any illegal activities, or pursue "any aims other than worship, teaching, practice and observance of their beliefs."

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