At this time of year, media often ask how Scientologists observe the holiday season. To answer that question, the Church of Scientology International provides the following:
How do Scientologists celebrate the holiday season?
Because the Scientology religion is practiced in 167 countries and territories, Scientologists come from a wide variety of faiths and cultural traditions.
But no matter what their background, they, like most people, gather with loved ones to enjoy the warmth of friends and family and celebrate the joy of the season.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard honored the great religious leaders of the past for the wisdom they brought to the world, writing that Scientology shares “the goals set for Man by Christ, which are wisdom, good health and immortality.” It is in this spirit that Scientologists celebrate the holiday season, whether Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or any other religious or cultural tradition.
Scientologists live by a code which includes: “To use the best I know of Scientology to the best of my ability to help my family, friends, groups and the world.” During the holiday season, Scientologists are especially active in this respect, volunteering in a wide range of endeavors to improve the lives of individuals and the community and bring joy to those who may need assistance.
In addition to regular Scientology religious services, Churches of Scientology provide many special holiday activities for Scientologists and open houses and tours for members of the community.
Scientology Churches and their parishioners also organize and support numerous charitable events during the holidays, such as toy drives, food and clothing collections, and parties for underprivileged children. Scientologists visit nursing homes, orphanages, hospitals and homeless shelters, bringing holiday cheer through gifts and entertainment.
The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood produces Christmas Stories, an annual holiday benefit performance presented in the style of a 1930s radio show with traditional and original stories, songs and skits.
For nearly two decades, proceeds have benefited the Hollywood Police Activities League’s annual Christmas party for underprivileged children and PAL’s year-round inner city programs for at-risk youth.
In an annual tradition beginning in 1983 when Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard provided a 60-foot Christmas tree as a gift to the people of Hollywood, Winter Wonderland holiday village is erected each year on Hollywood Boulevard as a service to the community. The opening of the village on the Sunday after Thanksgiving signals the start of the holiday season, when Santa arrives in his sleigh—always the final float in the famed Hollywood Christmas Parade—and lights the tree and village. Made possible by the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard Foundation, Winter Wonderland, attracts more than 40,000 Los Angeles residents and tourists to daily live performances by community vocal and instrumental groups and snow banks imported for the season.
Winter Wonderland is also presented for three weeks each December in Clearwater, Florida, as a service to the community and to benefit needy children. The Church of Scientology and parishioners organize and sponsor the Christmas village, with tens of thousands of residents and tourists enjoying Santa, Mrs. Claus’s cookie decorating kitchen, live entertainment by local school, church and professional performing groups, a petting zoo and pony rides.
Winter Wonderland is also an annual event at Saint Hill, home of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard from 1959 to 1967 and UK spiritual headquarters of the religion since 1959. Created as a public service for the local community, it is open for several weeks in December. Tens of thousands of lights illuminate the Saint Hill landscape. Visitors are welcome to visit Santa in his grotto, pet and feed the reindeer at the petting zoo, ride on Lennie the Land Train, play in a bouncy house and enyoy the ice skating rink.
The Church of Scientology and Community Centre of Dublin, opened in October this year, has organized a Winter Wonderland for the South Dublin community complete with Santa, face painting, creative craft making with Santa’s elves and Christmas funfair rides, Admission is free but in the spirit of Christmas, visitors are invited to bring new packaged toys or make a donation in aid of local charities supporting homeless families.
The spirit of Christmas—peace on Earth and goodwill to all—is a tangible goal that informs the lives of Scientologists around the world throughout the year, as reflected in “The Aims of Scientology” by L. Ron Hubbard: “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights…May a new day dawn for you, for those you love and for Man.”
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and are not necessarily those of World Religion News.
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