Church of Scientology Los Angeles hosted an open house and interfaith panel to promote harmony and unity among faiths
In an era of increased polarization, rising hate crimes, and social and economic challenges affecting all segments of society, religious leaders gathered at the Church of Scientology to review how religions can work together to improve the quality of life for their congregations and the greater community.
The program, held February 3, marked World Interfaith Harmony Week, established by the UN to “promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith” with the conviction that “mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace.” And the importance and timeliness of diverse communities working together for this purpose was brought into focus by L.A. County Human Relations Commission’s recent report that hate crimes in the county have reached the second-highest level in more than 20 years.
The panel featured five religious leaders who discussed basic beliefs of their own faiths and why they support working with other religious communities. Panelists were Qazi Asad, a Pakistani-born Muslim leader; Father Carlos Ruvalcaba of the St. Stephen’s Hollywood Episcopal Church; Brad Stone of the Institute for Religious Tolerance, Peace and Justice and a Loyola Marymount University Associate Dean and lay minister; Rev. Jean Dale-Glass, a minister of the Church of Scientology; and Shahrooz Ash, a leader in the California Zoroastrian community.
Following the panel, Mr. Ash presented a special letter and Cyrus Cylinder to the Church in recognition of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s belief in the importance of human rights. The Cyrus Cylinder is an ancient record that has now been recognized as the world’s first charter of human rights, whose provisions parallel the first four Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The program ended with a screening of the new feature-length film Operation: Do Something About It. The film documents the response of Scientology Volunteer Ministers the world over throughout the pandemic. One theme of the film is the importance of interfaith action. Volunteer Ministers partnered with diverse religious communities to ensure parishioners of every faith could worship together freely and make it through the pandemic safe and well.
In creating the Volunteer Ministers program in the mid-1970s, Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote: “The quality of being religious implies two things: first, a belief that evil, pain, bewilderment and injustice are fundamental facts of existence; second, a set of practices and related sanctified beliefs that express a conviction that Man can ultimately be saved from those facts.”
“If one does not like the crime, cruelty, injustice and violence of this society, he can do something about it,” he wrote. “He can become a Volunteer Minister and help civilize it, bring it conscience and kindness and love and freedom from travail by instilling into it trust, decency, honesty and tolerance.”
The Church of Scientology Los Angeles is an Ideal Scientology Organization, designed to provide the ideal facilities for Scientologists on their ascent to higher states of spiritual freedom and to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift people of all denominations. The Church was dedicated by Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige in 2010.
To learn more, visit the website of the Church of Scientology Los Angeles or watch Inside a Church of Scientology on the Scientology Network, available on DIRECTV Channel 320, DIRECTV STREAM, AT&T U-verse and streaming at Scientology.tv, on mobile apps and via the Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV platforms.