As Italy Drops Restrictions, Scientology Volunteer Ministers Look Back on a Year of Help
From decontaminating houses of worship to delivering food and prescriptions, Scientology Volunteer Ministers of Italy look back on 16 months of public service.
The bright yellow jackets of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers became a symbol of help across Italy, as local Scientologists stepped up to support their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the country is opening and life returns to normal, what stands out in their memories are the partnerships forged and the friendships made.
One of the earliest countries to be devastated by the coronavirus, Italy was ill-prepared for the stress the pandemic would put on its healthcare and social welfare services.
Just as medical professionals of all faiths did across the world, Scientologists who are doctors and nurses risked their own lives to save the lives of others in the country’s hospitals. Scientology Churches across the north of the country activated Volunteer Ministers (VMs) to bolster the overtaxed resources of their cities.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers and members of Pro.Civi.Co.S, the Civil Protection Volunteers of the Scientology Community who are all trained VMs, delivered food and prescriptions to at-risk neighbors and operated a helpline, responding directly or by connecting callers to social service personnel.
Throughout the country, Volunteer Ministers reached out in their communities with educational booklets to help people understand how to protect themselves from the virus. They provided displays of these Stay Well booklets to local shops along with invitations to visit the online Scientology Stay Well Prevention Resource Center that contains dozens of simple videos in 21 languages including Italian.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers decontaminated public spaces, health care facilities and houses of worship. They manned COVID testing centers and monitored the flow of people at vaccination centers. They helped relieve overtaxed personnel at healthcare facilities by sanitizing the rooms and providing care to the elderly.
And just before the new year began, when a devastating earthquake struck one of the most poverty-stricken regions of Croatia, they raised donations and carried out disaster response projects to help those most severely affected.
The Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers program is a religious social service created in the mid-1970s by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. It constitutes one of the world’s largest independent relief forces.
With the events of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige called on Scientologists to redouble their efforts to aid their fellow man. He issued a directive entitled “The Wake-Up Call,” which inspired astonishing growth within the Volunteer Minister program. In response, Volunteer Ministers of Italy formed Pro.Civi.Co.S, which was entered into the registry of the National Department of Civil Defense the following year.
Over the past two decades, Pro.Civi.Co.S and the Volunteer Ministers of Italy have responded to disasters at home and abroad, including the L’Aquila and Amatrice earthquakes in Italy, the South Asian tsunami of 2004, the Haiti earthquake of 2010, and the 2019 Albania earthquake.
A Volunteer Minister’s mandate is to be “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.” Their creed: “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”
For more information, visit the interactive timeline, 20/21—A Look Back & A Look Ahead, on the Scientology website at www.Scientology.org/20-21.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
Church of Scientology Media Relations
(323) 960-3500 phone
(323) 960-3508 fax