Scientologists open office to fight bias

BRUSSELS, EUROPEAN UNION — The California-based Church of Scientology opened an office in Brussels on Thursday to campaign against what it sees as discrimination against it and other “new religions” in some European Union states.

From its European Office on Public Affairs and Human Rights, Scientology said it would campaign for human rights and make itself better known in Europe.

Scientology has attracted negative publicity in Europe because of several court cases involving members in recent years. Some EU states consider it an unwelcome sect and refuse to register it as a religion.

“The only thing we ask is that we are not discriminated against,” Kurt Weiland, who is responsible for government, legal and public affairs for Scientology, told a news conference.

“There is discrimination, a lot of it,” he said.

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