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Celebrating My Right to Practice My Religion This Human Rights Day

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ratified by the United Nations shortly after the horrors of World War II, outlines the 30 human rights every man, woman and child has, simply by being a member of the human race.

Article 18 of the 30 rights states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

It would be beautiful to be able to say that religious conflict is a thing of the past. Tragically, world events seem to continually demonstrate otherwise.

The definition of “manifest” as used in Article 18 is “display or show by one’s acts or appearance; demonstrate.”

If I had to sum up my religion as a Scientologist in a single word, it would be “help.” As a group, Scientologists constantly demonstrate or manifest our applied religious philosophy by helping ourselves, our friends and family, the groups we’re a part of, and mankind as a whole through acts of service that measurably improve conditions in life.

The feeling of visceral spiritual and emotional satisfaction I experience when I see how the help I’ve given to someone has genuinely improved something for them is literally my favorite thing in life.

I have always been someone who enjoyed helping others. Some of my earliest memories are volunteering as a Boy Scout and in other social and school groups I was a part of. But as I got older, I found myself sometimes causing unintended problems despite my best intentions. Through lack of experience or an inability to understand what might actually be needed in a given situation, I sometimes found myself making a mess of something I had intended to improve. It was fundamentally a lack of know-how that limited my ability to help in the way I’d hoped to.

Scientology provided me with that knowledge I was searching for, giving me every tool I needed to become more effective and therefore more helpful to myself and others.

Scientology is, at its core, something you do. It’s helpful, workable information that you apply to your life in order to effectively solve problems.

It’s a new religion, just decades old. And it’s only because of the efforts of people fighting for basic human rights—like freedom of religion—that I’ve had the opportunity to avail myself of all Scientology has to offer, which in turn has allowed me to be the most competent and helpful version of myself.

This Human Rights Day, I celebrate my religion and the right of every individual in the world to manifest “his [or her] religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

May we all be the better for it. 

Blog originally published on standleague.org

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