Why is Scientology a church?
The word church comes from the Greek word kyrios meaning “lord” and the Indo-European base kewe, “to be strong.” Current meanings of the word include “a congregation,” “ecclesiastical power as distinguished from the secular” and “the clerical profession; clergy.”
The word church is not only used by Christian organizations. There were churches ten thousand years before there were Christians, and Christianity itself was a revolt against the established church. In modern usage, people speak of the Buddhist or Muslim church, referring in general to the whole body of believers in a particular religious teaching.
A church is a community of believers who hold in common a system of sanctified beliefs and religious practices by which they strive to overcome the ultimate problems of life.
In the 1950s, Scientologists recognized that L. Ron Hubbard’s technology and its results dealt directly with the freeing of the human spirit, and that greater spiritual awareness was routinely being achieved. There was no question in their minds that they were engaged in a religious practice. Thus, in the early 1950s, they resolved that a church be formed to better serve their spiritual needs. The first Church of Scientology was then incorporated in 1954.
Thus, Scientology is a religion and the use of the word church when referring to Scientology is correct.