How to Stay Well | Prevention Resource Center

Scientology Volunteer Ministers to Return to Croatia With Additional Humanitarian Aid

Churches of Scientology of Italy join forces to help in the aftermath of the 6.4 Croatia earthquake.

It was far from a typical New Year for families in Sisak-Moslavina County of Croatia and parts of Zagreb this year. Volunteer Ministers of Northern Italy responded to the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck December 29 leaving eight dead and severely damaging more than 9,000 houses and other buildings, including the region’s largest hospital. The worst earthquake to hit the area in 140 years, it has generated some 700 aftershocks over the past two weeks.

Bringing urgently needed relief to the victims of the Croatia earthquake
Scientology Volunteer Minister from Padua works with the Red Cross to bring urgently needed relief to the victims of the Croatia earthquake.

Back in Padua after a week in Croatia, Ettore Botter, a Volunteer Minister who also oversees the humanitarian campaigns of the Church of Scientology Padua, describes his first visit to the region as “a week of intense but very satisfying work.” 

Thanks to the rapid response of the Civil Protection Volunteers of the Scientology Community (Pro.Civi.Co.S) of Turin and Milan, Botter’s team was able to bring urgently needed supplies to displaced families in ​​Sisak, Petrinja and Glina—among the cities hardest hit by the disaster.

Learning of the devastation, Italian Scientologists immediately raised funds and collected supplies to bring basic necessities to the region including winter clothing, hygiene products, baby food, portable stoves, and plastic sheeting and tarps for damaged homes to prevent further destruction to furniture and other possessions.

Pro.Civi.Co.S volunteers have launched a second collection drive and Botter, who marks 20 years as a Volunteer Minister this year, plans to return to Glina with a team of Volunteer Ministers from Hungary.

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.

The following year, Volunteer Ministers of Italy formed Pro.Civi.Co.S, which was entered into the registry of the National Department of Civil Defense.

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.”

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.

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