Church of Scientology increases presence in Hungary

Scientology has invested 1 billion HUF in a new office building in Budapest

The controversial Church of Scientology has purchased a new 1 billion HUF office building in Budapest’s XIII district, it has been announced.

Leading figures from the church – which include Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley – are expected to make their way to Budapest on either May 21st or 28th for an inauguration ceremony of its new center.

The church claimed that they purchased the new office building because they “outgrew” their previous premises but declined to disclose the price of purchase, which is apparently covered by members’ donations, reports Magyar Nemzet.

The Hungarian branch of the Church of Scientology, eligible for state funding, was formed in 1991 folliowing an initial prescence which dates back to 1989.

In 1993, the National Assembly declared the organization a “destructive sect” and withdrew its state support. Under Hungary’s new church law, which took effect on 1 January 2012, scientology lost its status as an officially recognized church.

Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister, declared that “as long as I and KDNP (the co-ruling Christian Democratic People’s Party) are in the Parliament, Scientology won’t be recognized as a religion”.

In 2011, Péter Bolyai, a former leader of Scientology in Hungary, described the unlawful activities he took part in as leader and claimed that the organization collects compromising information on its members to use against them at a later date.