The Church of Scientology in Moscow has been banned by a Russian court, for not complying with federal laws on freedom of religion. According to local Russian media, the country’s ministry of justice brought the case against the church to court.
The case was heard on Monday in the Moscow City Court.
Government officials expressed their desire for Moscow’s Church of Scientology to be shutdown. They say that the organisation had tried to register “Scientology” as a trademark and therefore it could not be a religious body.
The court ruled that a commission must now be set by the organisation to oversee its liquidation within six months.
The Church of Scientology in Moscow was registered in 1994 and opened its headquarters in 2011.
Lawyers of the Church of Scientology argue that no bans were violated and that there were no serious reasons to justify the court’s ruling for liquidation.
They added that the closure violated the rights of “tens of thousands of believers”.