Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

New Scientology Church Opens

The Church of Scientology made an addition to D.C. last month. Located at 16th and P Streets – about a half-mile away from the White House – the new church opened on Oct. 31 and drew nearly 3,000 at the opening, according to Business Wire.

The new 49,000 square foot church is Scientology’s largest presence to date in the nation’s capital, according Business Wire. The new church opened because of a demand for more space.

“The Church doesn’t feel the need to expand, we just are expanding and literally were bursting at the seams and unable to fit everyone into the old building. We needed a new building for our activities,” said Sylvia Stanard, a Church of Scientology spokesperson. “We do a lot of human rights work as well as a major anti-drug campaign and had no rooms left for large meetings. This gives us a room . where we can fit over 200 people for these social betterment programs and events. We will also be inviting other nonprofit, social reform groups to use our facility for events to help promote human rights and educational reform issues.”

David Miscavige, chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of Scientology, dedicated the church.

“You are looking at a living embodiment of the freedom and equality that originally inspired this nation because, yes, this church stands for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Miscavige said in his speech. “And, yes, it stands here today because of the freedom on which this nation was built – the freedom of religion. For it was here, in this nation’s capital, that we fought for and won our recognition.”

A number of non-Scientologists also attended the event.

“I have worked diligently and continuously to express my views, and I believe the views of the entire Congress, that all countries should treat all religions equally and provide true freedom of religion for everyone,” said Brad Sherman, a U.S. Representative from California who was at the event.

The new church has seen an influx of visitors since its opening, attesting to the prevalence of Scientology in the District.

“We have already had many new people visiting and coming by for tours and more information on the church since we opened a week ago,” Stanard said.

Scientology has always had a strong presence in the District, with the founding Church of Scientology located in Dupont Circle, according to Business Wire. L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, was from the D.C. area, and graduated from The George Washington University. “

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