Hugo F. V. Coveliers is a retired Belgian politician and lawyer. He was a member of the Belgian Chamber of People’s Representatives for nearly 20 years until 2003 when he became a member of the Belgian Senate. He believes every city should have as many churches as possible, including Scientology, to establish dialog among diverse groups. He sees a major contribution of the Church of Scientology is in establishing the level of discussion where “people are thinking about the quality of life, not only the material qualities, but the intellectual qualities and trying to be happy.”
It is of course important that the capital of Europe has also a Church of Scientology. But on the other hand I think it’s important for every city in Europe that there are as many churches as possible so that there is first of all a dialog. But also that the level of some neighborhoods of the city is higher and that the prevention of, for instance, the drug problem which is very heavy in this city, that it’s a little bit enhanced, it’s a little bit supported. And that the authorities, the local authorities, also have the possibility to cooperate, to do something on these problems. So I think it’s a possibility. It’s a challenge also for everyone to profit from the existence of the Church.
For me it’s very important that the proof of the freedom of religion in Europe—we must be a civilization where everybody can believe what he thinks is right and where nobody has the right to push someone else to something that he doesn’t want to believe. I think that’s very important, that’s what is for me—I appreciate so much on the Church of Scientology—they explain their believing but they don’t urge you to believe the same, and I think that’s very important.
Every time when someone is thinking about the sentence of life, of being on this earth, every time when you have an incentive to discuss about life, the conditions of life, the intellectual conditions, the ethics conditions and so on, I think it’s an enrichment. It makes the society richer. And I think that’s the contribution of every religion, but especially the Church of Scientology—that they make the discussion that people are thinking about the quality of life, not only the material qualities, but the intellectual qualities and trying to be happy, that I think is the wish of most of the people.