News World The Church of Scientology worries Saint-Denis

The Church of Scientology worries Saint-Denis

Residents of the Saint-Denis district of Paris are concerned. The reason is the decision of the Church of Scientology to open its new headquarters here.

The building is over 7,000 square meters, includes an auditorium, study rooms and even saunas in the middle of the 2024 Olympic Games stadiums.

“We are right next to the Stade de France. Now we have the new Olympic swimming pool. We are in the heart of the future Olympic facilities,” says Saint-Denis resident Philippe Caro.

This neighbor was one of the 30,000 signatories of a petition against the purchase of the building for 33 million euros in 2017.

Since then, the city council has tried to prohibit the works. But an appeals court ruled in favor of the Church of Scientology last December.

“Leaving the city in the hands of an organization like this, with enormous resources in relation to a neighborhood like Saint-Denis… This poses a danger, a risk for the residents and the neighborhood in terms of sectarian presence. You can look for a position of the Ministry of the Interior on the installation of the Church of Scientology… There are none!, denounces Caro.

The Church of Scientology would have several tens of thousands of followers in France, where it functions legally under the statute of association. Various parliamentary reports define it as a sectarian movement.

Its European spokesman, Eric Roux, rejects this qualification: “There are people from the city council and the prefecture who have tried to prevent the works from being carried out in a fallacious way. I think that the best response is that of the Court of Appeal, which said that it was of an abuse of power. An abuse of power by a representative of the State or an elected official is serious. There are people who are racist, who are intolerant, unfortunately this is the reality today and we have to deal with it. But when the law says what is fair, it says what is fair.

It is likely that the Church of Scientology will be able to inaugurate its new headquarters before the 2024 Paris Games. The courts have given until the end of March for the city to review the request for authorization of the works.

Source: Euronews Español

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