MOSCOW (AP) — The Supreme Court in Bashkortostan has banned a Church of Scientology center that prosecutors labeled a “health hazard,” Interfax reported.
The ban in the majority-Muslim region was imposed after prosecutors filed suit claiming the organization did not have a license to engage in educational or medical activities, Judge Valentina Kurkalova said.
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Prosecutors said Scientology as practiced in the region “has a negative impact on its students’ mental health and is a health hazard,” Interfax reported. Authorities also accused the group of violating the Constitution and public health laws.
The center will not be immediately shut down because it has the right to appeal the decision within four months, Kurkalova said.
“We will continue our work throughout Russia, while the church determines its course of appeal,” said Linda Simmons Hight, a spokeswoman for Church of Scientology International, in a statement from Los Angeles.